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Transjugular liver biopsy: A review of 77 biopsies using a spring-propelled cutting needle (biopsy gun)

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Seventy-seven transjugular liver biopsies were performed with a coaxial, spring-loaded, 18-gauge cutting needle, the Biopty gun (Bard Biopsy System, Covington, GA, USA) on consecutive patients between July 1993 and February 1995. Fifty men and 27 women were included in the study; the mean age was 45 years (range 15–69 years). The average number of punctures per patient was 5.2, with a range of 2–9, yielding an average of 4.8 samples per patient (range 1–7). The length of the samples varied from 10 to 22 mm with a constant diameter of 1 mm. The mean time required to complete the procedure was 48 min (43–52 min). Histological diagnoses were obtained in 74 of 77 patients (96%), with non-diagnostic specimens attributed to excessive fragmentation (3 cases). Complications occurred in 10 patients (puncture site hematoma, carotid artery puncture, abdominal pain, vasovagal reaction, hepatic capsule perforation, and hemobilia). The latter two complications were self-limited. In our experience this transjugular hepatic biopsy method is promising for performing biopsies in patients with chronic liver disease, due to its high success rate and low morbidity rate.

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Gorriz, E., Reyes, R., Lobrano, M.B. et al. Transjugular liver biopsy: A review of 77 biopsies using a spring-propelled cutting needle (biopsy gun). Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 19, 442–445 (1996).

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