Percutaneous liver biopsy is the gold standard in the diagnosis and staging of a wide variety of hepatic disorders.
Complications, post-procedure monitoring, and recovery time limit the ability for liver biopsies to be performed in a busy gastroenterology community practice.
Dr Roberto Firpi and colleagues from Florida determined if patients requiring percutaneous liver biopsy can be safely discharged after a short recovery.
The researchers evaluated all ambulatory patients undergoing a percutaneous liver biopsy at the University of Florida between 1995 and 2004.
| Most complications occurred within 1 hour of observation period, or 24 hours after discharge|
|Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
A 15-gauge Jamshidi needle was used after percussion before 2002, while ultrasound guidance started in 2002.
Major complications were defined as events that required either immediate or delayed hospitalization or resulted in death within 2 weeks after the liver biopsy.
The team reported that 3214 outpatient liver biopsies were performed.
During this time, the researchers noted that recovery time was gradually decreased from 6 hours before 1997 to 1 hour in 2002.
The research team found that the majority of the complications occurred within 1 hour of the observation period or within 24 hours after discharge.
The major complication rate was about 2%, regardless of the observation period.
Dr Firpi's team concludes, “A shorter observation time after ambulatory percutaneous liver biopsy is safe and might facilitate the physician's ability to optimally utilize procedural space and ancillary staff in a busy ambulatory care unit.”