Percutaneous liver biopsy in children: Impact of ultrasonography and spring-loaded biopsy needles

Ann O. Scheimann, Jose M. Barrios, Youhanna S. Al-Tawil, Krista M. Gray, Mark A. Gilger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background: Percutaneous liver biopsy is a valued tool of pediatric hepatology. Recent advances in technology have incorporated spring-loaded biopsy needles and ultrasonography in percutaneous liver biopsy. Methods: To determine the frequency of complications after liver biopsy and whether variables such as needle selections (Jamshidi, Monopty, or ASAP) and ultrasound guidance could predict complications, medical records were retrospectively reviewed of all patients who underwent percutaneous liver biopsy during a 7-year period. Available data were collected from 123 patients who had undergone a total of 249 percutaneous liver biopsies. All patients with evidence of mild clotting abnormalities (8.83‰) received platelets, cryoprecipitate, or fresh-frozen plasma. Results: There was a 6.83‰ incidence of overall complications, and a 2.4‰ incidence of major complications. The mortality rate was 0.4‰. Ultrasound localization did not diminish the risk of bleeding during biopsy. There was no significant difference in the change of hematocrit between the aspiration (Jamshidi) and spring-loaded (Monopty) needles. However, in patients less than 5 years of age, the change of hematocrit was significantly higher (P < 0.05) with the 15- or 18-gauge ASAP needle (Microvasive, Quincy, MA, U.S.A.) than with either the Jamshidi (Allegience Healthcare, Columbia, MD, U.S.A.) or Monopty (Bard Technologies, Covington, GA, U.S.A.) needles. Conclusion: Percutaneous liver biopsy is safe, using either aspiration or spring-loaded needles. Ultrasound guidance may not be helpful except in patients who underwent segmental liver transplantation. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-539
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Pediatric liver biopsy
  • Percutaneous liver biopsy
  • Spring loaded needle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Percutaneous liver biopsy in children: Impact of ultrasonography and spring-loaded biopsy needles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this