UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Gastrointestional

Title: Complications of Liver Biopsy

Posted: 3/22/2010 by Rob Rogers, MD (Updated: 2/24/2020)
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Complications of Liver Biopsy

Some considerations for the patient who presents with pain after a liver biopsy:

  • Hemothorax
  • Pneumothorax
  • Biopsy of other organ
  • Hemorrhage (subcapsular hematoma, intraperitoneal bleeding, hemobilia)
  • AV Fistula

Consider getting a chest xray and a RUQ ultrasound to evaluate for these complications if they show up in the ED. CT scanning might also be required.

Also consider getting Interventional Radiology  involved early in cases of bleeding as this is often the preferred treatment for biopsy site bleeding. In addition, a surgical consult is wise

in case the patient requires operative intervention.