Accurate histological diagnosis and subtyping of hepatocellular carcinoma (hepatoma) is likely to be enhanced if a large biopsy tissue specimen is made available to the pathologist. However biopsy of this tumour can be dangerous, especially if the liver is cirrhotic and the lesion is superficial. This study evaluates the safety of an 18 gauge spring loaded side-cutting needle in the percutaneous biopsy of hepatoma in cirrhotic patients under ultrasonographic (US) guidance. Particular attention was paid to establishing the necessary length of needle track through interposing liver parenchyma to be certain of maximum safety.
One hundred and thirty-nine consecutive biopsy procedures were performed on 129 hepatomas which belonged to 113 men and 12 women of average age 57 +/- 15 years old (median 60, range 8 months-88 years). Ninety-six (69.1%) of these biopsies were performed in cirrhotic livers. The length of biopsy needle track traversing interposing liver parenchyma was less than 1 cm in two cases, 1 cm in 41 cases, between 1 and 2 cm in 46 cases and > 2 cm in 50 cases. The mean tumour size was 7.2 +/- 4.5 cm (median 6.8 cm, range 0.7-25 cm). The average number of needle pass in each biopsy was 2.1 +/- 0.8 times (median 2, range 1-5).
One hundred and twenty-six (90.6%) of the biopsy procedures were diagnostic of hepatoma. There were two cases of post-biopsy bleeding, both occurred in procedures with an interposing liver parenchymal track less than 1 cm in length.
The biopsy technique described was found to be safe for diagnosing hepatoma in patients with or without liver cirrhosis provided that the length of interposing liver parenchymal track is not < 1 cm.
"This supports data published by Frieser et al. in the only study available to us that addresses this issue . The absence of correlation between complication rate and lesion size confirms findings by Ch Yu et al. , who, in his study of puncture-related bleeding rate in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), established four size categories, finding no statistically significant differences in terms of complication rates. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Ultrasonographically guided punctures of the liver represent a decisive tool in the diagnosis of many diseases of the liver. Objective of the study was to determine the extent to which the complication rate for ultrasonographically guided punctures of the liver is affected by less comprehensively studied risk factors.
A total of 2,229 liver biopsies were performed in 1,961 patients (55.5% males; 44.5% females). We recorded actual complications and assessed the following risk factors: needle gauge, puncture technique, examiner experience, coagulation status, puncture target (focal lesion versus parenchyma), lesion size, patient sex and age.
he rate of complications stood at 1.2% (n = 27), of which 0.5% (n = 12) were major and 0.7% (n = 15) minor complications. A significant increase in complications involving bleeding was observed with larger-gauge needles compared with smaller-gauge needles and for cutting biopsy punctures compared with aspiration biopsies (Menghini technique). In the bivariate analysis complications were 2.7 times more frequent in procedures performed by experienced examiners compared with those with comparatively less experience. Lower values for Quick’s test and higher partial thromboplastin times were associated with a higher rate of bleeding. Neither the puncture target, lesion size or patient sex exerted any measurable influence on the puncture risk. Advanced patient age was associated with a higher rate of complications involving bleeding.
Our study helps to establish the importance of potential and less comprehensively studied risk factors and may contribute to further reduction in complications rates in routine clinical practice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the 10 most common tumours, and the most common primary liver malignancy, in the world. In the majority of cases, it occurs against a background of hepatitis B or C viral infection and/or liver cirrhosis, and is associated with a dismal prognosis of a few months. Current treatments in routine clinical practice are surgical resection and liver transplantation, but these therapies are applicable to only a small proportion of patients and prolongation of survival is restricted. Other treatment options include intra-arterial chemotherapy, transcatheter arterial chemoembolisation, percutaneous ethanol injection, cryotherapy, thermotherapy, proton therapy, or a wide range of their possible combinations. The current lack of definitive data, however, limits the use of these therapies. Another option is gene therapy, which although in its infancy at the present time, may have a significant role to play in the future management of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Postgraduate Medical Journal 02/2000; 76(891):4-11. DOI:10.1136/pmj.76.891.4 · 1.45 Impact Factor
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