Needle biopsy of a suspicious liver lesion could guide management in the setting of equivocal imaging and serology.
However, it is not recommended generally because there is the possibility of tumor dissemination outside the liver.
The incidence of needle track seeding following biopsy of a suspicious liver lesion is ill-defined, however.
Dr Darius Mirza and colleagues from United Kingdom performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies published before 2007.
Studies that reported on needle tract seeding following biopsy of suspicious liver lesions were identified.
|The pooled estimate of seeding per 100 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma was 0.03|
The research team considered lesions suspected of being hepatocelleular cancer.
Data on the type of needle biopsy, diagnosis, incidence of needle track seeding duration to seeding, follow-up and impact on outcome were tabulated.
The researchers identified 8 studies by systematic review on biopsy of hepatocellular carcinoma that were included in a meta-analysis.
The pooled estimate of a patient with seeding per 100 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma was 0.03.
There was no difference whether a fixed or random effects model was used.
The team noted that the pooled estimate of a patient with seeding per 100 patients per year was 0.009.
Dr Mirza’s team concludes, “In this systematic review we have shown that the incidence of needle tract tumor seeding following biopsy of a hepatocellular carcinoma is 3% overall, or less than 1% per year.”