Introduction: Liver biopsy is considered the definitive investigation in the diagnosis and management of liver disease. This study describes the experience of performing transjugular liver biopsy (TJLB) over the last 9 years in a local single centre.Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of consecutive TJLB procedures performed at our institution was conducted. A total of 152 patients (74 males and 78 females), with a mean age of 47.4 years (range, 13 to 83 years) underwent a total of 154 TJLB procedures at our institution between March 2003 and November 2011. The principal indication for TJLB was severe coagulopathy in over 80% of patients. The technical success, number of passes, histological adequacy and complication rates were analysed. Results: The procedural success rate was 98.7% (152 out of 154 procedures). Adequate material for diagnosis was obtained in 149 out of 152 (98.0%) technically successful procedures. There was procedure related morbidity in 8 patients (5.2%) of which all but one were self-limiting requiring no further intervention. We also performed hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) measurements in 19% of patients at the time of TJLB. Conclusion: TJLB performed at our institution is a safe and reliable technique in patients in whom traditional percutaneous liver biopsy may be hazardous. TJLB has a high technical success rate as well as a high diagnostic yield with a low complication rate. TJLB also has the added benefit of performing HVPG, which is of increasing importance in management and prognostication of chronic liver disease.
The first reported case of liver biopsy was recorded in 1883 by Ehrlich. Since then, the technique of liver biopsy has been modified tremendously with major advances over the last 50 years, allowing safer and more reliable methods of performing liver biopsy.
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