Ultrasound-guided fine-needle biopsy of focal liver lesions: techniques, diagnostic accuracy and complications. A retrospective study on 2091 biopsies

J Hepatol. 1990 Nov;11(3):344-8. doi: 10.1016/0168-8278(90)90219-h.


Two thousand and ninety-one ultrasound-guided fine-needle biopsies were performed in 1946 patients to diagnose focal liver lesions. The diagnostic accuracy of fine-needle biopsies is very high (only one false positive was observed), both for aspiration biopsy (93.4%) and for cutting biopsy (95.1%). The difference is not statistically significant. In cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (but not in cases of metastasis or hepatic lymphoma), double biopsy (aspiration and cutting) showed higher diagnostic sensitivity than single methods. A certain number of benign focal liver lesions were also diagnosed. In the present series, no case of death following liver puncture was observed. Intraperitoneal hemorrhage was the most common complication. The risk with a cutting needle being higher than with an aspirative needle.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle / methods
  • Focal Infection / complications
  • Focal Infection / diagnostic imaging*
  • Focal Infection / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver Diseases / complications
  • Liver Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Diseases / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography