Patricia Almeida, Richard A. Schreiber, Jennifer Liang, Quais Mujawar, Orlee R. Guttman
Introduction. Percutaneous liver biopsy (LB) is the gold standard method for evaluation and management of patients with liver disease. The purpose of this study was to characterize pediatric patients undergoing LB at British Columbia Children's Hospital, and to determine the rate and timing of complications following the procedure. Material and methods. The medical records of all pediatric patients who underwent LB during a six-year retrospective study were reviewed to collect demographic and procedure-related data. Results. 223 LBs were performed, and 179 of these biopsies were percutaneous or transjugular. Elevated liver enzymes and cholestasis together accounted for almost 70% of the indications for LB, and the histological analysis of liver tissue yielded a specific diagnosis in 89 % of the cases. There were no deaths and no major complications related to LB. The most frequent minor complication was pain (59% of LBs) and the other complications were bleeding-related and classified as minor. The vast majority of complications (88%) were recognized within 8 h of the LB. Conclusions. LB is a valuable and safe procedure in pediatric patients with a low rate of complications. Pediatric patients can be discharged home safely should no complications occur within the first 8-12 h after the procedure.
Key words. Liver biopsy., Pediatrics., Quality assurance., Complications.