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Liver Biopsy (cont.)

Transjugular Liver Biopsy

Transjugular liver biopsy is typically performed in patients who have a greater-than-average risk of bleeding complications. It also is employed in patients where ascites (i.e. fluid in the abdominal cavity) increases the risk of complications after biopsy. The procedure has been available at most tertiary care centers for the last decade or two. Typically, the technique for transjugular liver biopsy entails:

  • The patient is positioned upon his or her back on a fluoroscopy (i.e. X-ray) table in the interventional radiology suite.
  • The patient is sedated.
  • The interventional radiologist disinfects and anesthetizes the skin over the right side of the neck.
  • A small incision is made over the right internal jugular vein.
  • A catheter is introduced into the right internal jugular vein.
  • A guide wire is placed through the catheter, via the superior and inferior vena cava vessels, into the right hepatic vein.
  • Its correct position is checked using fluoroscopy.
  • A specially designed biopsy catheter system is then introduced over the guide wire and is positioned in the right hepatic vein.
  • The actual biopsy needle is introduced via this new catheter.
  • The biopsy is performed through the wall of the hepatic vein.
  • The catheter is removed.
  • The patient is sent to the recovery room.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/20/2015
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