Transjugular aspiration liver biopsy performed by hepatologists trained in HVPG measurements is safe and provides important diagnostic information.

Dig Liver Dis 2019 Feb 12. Epub 2019 Feb 12.

Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Vienna Hepatic Hemodynamic Laboratory, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. Electronic address:

Background: Transjugular liver biopsy (TJLB) represents an alternative to percutaneous liver biopsy especially in patients with impaired coagulation and ascites.

Aims: To describe safety and diagnostic yield of aspiration TJLB performed by hepatologists experienced in hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) measurements.

Methods: 445 TJLB of 399 patients between 01/2007-12/2016 were retrospectively assessed.

Results: Histological diagnosis was obtained in 423 (95.1%) biopsies - including 11 (100%) patients with acute liver failure and 34 (97.1%) patients after liver transplantation. A median number of 5 portal tracts (interquartile range:2-9) was obtained. HVPG negatively correlated with sample length (Spearman ρ = -0.310; p < 0.001) and number of portal tracts (ρ = -0.212; p < 0.001). Among n = 151 patients with unknown etiology of liver disease, etiology was successfully identified on liver histology in 126 patients (83.4%). Complications occurred in 28 biopsies (6.3%) including 25 (5.6%) minor and 3 (0.7%) major complications. No deaths due to TJLB were observed. Neither the presence of ascites (6.6% complications) nor of coagulopathy (platelets<50G/L and/or prothrombin time<50%; 4.8% complications) increased the risk for complications.

Conclusions: TJLB performed by hepatologists experienced in HVPG measurements is safe - even in patients with ascites or coagulopathy. TJLB has good diagnostic value for histological evaluation of liver disease and acute liver failure.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dld.2019.01.020DOI Listing

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February 2019
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