Liver biopsy

Specimen:

Fine needle aspiration biopsy, needle core, wedge biopsy, laparoscopic biopsy, transjugular biopsy or partial hepatectomy.

Method:

Fresh tissue: frozen section, microbiology culture, enzyme or chemical analysis, Molecular genetics. 

Fixed tissue: light microscopy, Immunohistochemistry, Electron microscopy (special fixative). If Glycogen storage diseases is suspected fix in alcohol, fine needle aspirate biopsy, PCR.

Application:

Investigation of abnormal liver function tests;

Hepatitis;

Chronic liver disease;

Hepatic infiltrations; and

Metabolic disorders (eg, haemochromatosis, Wilson's disease, Glycogen storage diseases). 

The evaluation of post-transplant liver. 

The diagnosis and/or staging of primary and metastatic carcinoma and lymphoma.

Interpretation:

Identification of aetiology, categorisation and prognosis of acute and chronic liver disease;

identification of infecting organisms, tumour type and stage;

identification of storage diseases; and

enzyme deficiency disorders.

Reference:

Burt AD et al. Pathology of the Liver. 6th ed. 2011. Churchill Livingstone.