This prospective study was designed to determine the most accurate method of obtaining a tissue diagnosis in patients with suspected focal liver disease. Computed tomography (CT) was performed initially in all patients. Patients with extensive right lobe disease on CT had a blind, percutaneous liver biopsy. Those with focal lesions on CT were randomized to either a CT or laparoscopic directed biopsy. Patients with no lesions on CT had laparoscopy for further evaluation. The results indicate that blind percutaneous biopsy is sufficient if extensive right lobe disease is present. There is no significant difference in the sensitivity of laparoscopy and CT directed biopsy if focal lesions are detected by CT. However, a negative CT directed biopsy does not exclude malignancy. Laparoscopy has a significant yield in patients with a negative CT and is the procedure of choice in evaluating these patients.