Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
Missing a cancer because a needle biopsy
collects tissue from such a small area.
Not enough tissue is sampled
to make a clear diagnosis.
What To Think About
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine
aminotransferase (ALT) are blood tests done to check liver function. Both ALT
and AST levels show liver damage and may be done to help diagnose liver
disease. A liver biopsy may be done when AST and ALT levels are very high and
no other reason for high levels is found. For more information, see the topics
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) and
Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT).
biopsy should not be done on people who have bleeding or blood clotting
problems, or certain types of belly infections.
A transvenous liver
biopsy is another method that may be used. During this test, a radiologist inserts a thin tube
(catheter) into a neck vein, which is guided to the liver. A sample can be taken
through the catheter.
If a larger sample of liver tissue is needed,
an open biopsy of the liver may be done at another time, using surgery or
laparoscopy. A liver biopsy is sometimes done at the
same time as another abdominal surgery. For more information, see the topic
A fine-needle aspiration
biopsy may be done to get a sample of liver cells and to collect fluid from the
liver. If an infection is suspected, a
culture may be done on the fluid to see what type of
organism is present. A fine-needle biopsy may be done during a
CT scan or ultrasound to check for liver problems. For more
information, see the topics
Computed Tomography (CT) Scan and