Effect of needle gauge and lobe laterality on parenchymal liver biopsy outcome: a retrospective analysis

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology

Publication Date


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PURPOSE: To analyze the effect of lobe selection, needle gauge, and number of passes on procedure outcomes in terms of specimen length and post-procedure complications.

METHODS: In this HIPAA-compliant, IRB-approved retrospective study, the data from 771 ultrasound-guided adult parenchymal liver biopsies were analyzed. Post-procedure complications were assigned a 3-point rating scale. Associations between specimen length and post-procedure complications with lobe laterality, needle gauge, and number of passes were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to analyze the likelihood for achieving a specimen length of at least 2 cm.

RESULTS: Post-procedure complications were not associated with lobe laterality, needle gauge, and number of passes (p > 0.3). Specimen length was associated with the number of passes dichotomized at the study mean (p = 0.007), but not with lobe laterality or needle gauge (p > 0.2). After adjusting for lobe laterality and needle gauge, procedures with 1 or 2 passes were associated with a higher likelihood of obtaining a 2 cm or longer specimen (OR 2.469; CI 1.08-5.63, p = 0.0315) than procedures with 3 or more passes, possibly due to poorer sample quality. After adjusting for lobe laterality, an 18-gauge needle was associated with higher odds of a biopsy procedure with 1 or 2 passes (OR 3.665; CI 1.93-6.95, p < 0.0001) than a 20-gauge needle.

CONCLUSIONS: Lobe laterality was not associated with specimen length or post-procedure complications. An 18-gauge needle compared to a 20-gauge needle could reduce the need for a procedure with more than 2 passes. There was no difference in post-procedure complications between the two needle sizes.


Liver, Image-guided biopsy, Ultrasonography, Hepatitis

DOI of Published Version



Abdom Imaging. 2014 Nov 4. Link to article on publisher's site.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Abdominal imaging

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