A liver biopsy involves inserting a needle between the ribs to collect a small sample of liver tissue. Samples of liver tissue can then be examined under a microscope to further check a suspected or known liver disease.
A liver biopsy may be done after other tests have failed to provide a clear diagnosis or determine the severity of a liver problem. It can also be used to monitor certain forms of liver disease, such as hepatitis C. A liver biopsy can reveal long-term inflammation (chronic hepatitis), scar tissue formation (cirrhosis), or cancer.
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMichel M. Murr, MD - General Surgery, Bariatric Surgery
Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise