A transjugular liver biopsy specimen is often smaller or more fragmented than a percutaneous liver biopsy specimen.
Recently, for percutaneous liver biopsy, the minimum requirements to evaluate chronic hepatitis have been set at 20-25 mm length and 11 complete portal tracts.
Professor Andrew Burroughs and colleagues from England evaluated and compared length of transjugular liver biopsy and percutaneous liver biopsy specimens.
The team of doctors evaluated portal tract number, fragmentation and adequacy for histopathological diagnosis and staging.
|60% of transjugular liver biopsy specimens were 28 mm long|
The doctors evaluated 326 consecutive transjugular liver biopsy specimens in 274 patients, of which 109 had undergone a transplantation.
The team always used 3 passes, and 40 consecutive percutaneous liver biopsy specimens.
The doctors reported no technical failures occurred with the transjugular liver biopsy, and histological diagnosis was possible in 99%.
The median number of fragments was 5, and the median total length was 22 mm, with 65% of specimens 20 mm and 36% 25 mm.
The doctors observed that 60% of transjugular liver biopsy specimens were 28 mm long, and had 11 complete portal tracts.
No difference in complete portal tract number or biopsy length was found between percutaneous liver biopsy and transjugular liver biopsy specimens.
Professor Burroughs' team concluded, “A transjugular liver biopsy specimen with 3 passes is adequate for histological diagnosis.”
“We found that 89% of specimens were either 15 mm or had 6 complete portal tracts.”
“Although adequate sampling remains a limitation for staging and grading of chronic hepatitis, transjugular liver biopsy is comparable to percutaneous liver biopsy in this respect.”