Liver surgeons usually recommend against biopsy of colorectal liver metastases, due to the risk of local dissemination.
However, only case reports describing this problem have been published.
In this study, researchers from New Zealand quantified the risk of biopsy-related dissemination.
They performed a multicenter, retrospective review of patients with colorectal liver metastases presenting for surgery who had undergone a preoperative biopsy.
|A dissemination risk of 16% was identified.|
|Diseases of the Colon and Rectum|
Overall, the team identified 231 cases. Of these, 43 had undergone a preoperative biopsy.
The researchers found that 7 patients had evidence of dissemination related to the biopsy; a risk of dissemination of 16%. This risk was not related to the type of biopsy.
Within the follow-up period (median 21 months), 3 of the 7 cases with evidence of dissemination, and 11 of the 36 without dissemination were alive without disease.
The team found that only 25% of the 36 cases without dissemination were resected, whereas 6 of the 7 cases with dissemination were resected.
Dr Michael Rodgers's team concluded, "There is a significant risk of local dissemination with biopsy of colorectal liver metastases".
"In this series this was independent of the type of biopsy".
"There was no demonstrated effect on resectability or survival, but numbers were small, and the median follow-up was short".