Post liver biopsy haemorrhage

Case contributed by Dr Ian Bickle


45 year old chronic renal failure patient with worsening hepatic enzymes. Liver biopsy requested to identify cause.

Patient Data

Age: 45
Gender: Male

Dual phase CT Liver:   extravasation of contrast from segment 4B of the liver (at the site of the earlier performed ultrasound guided liver biopsy).

Moderate volume high attenuation fluid in the abdomen and pelvis, in keeping with a haemoperitoneum.

Case Discussion

Ultrasound guided biopsy of the liver is a commonly performed procedure, with clinically significant post-procedural haemorrhage thankfully uncommon.

The lessons from this case are:

1. Never be complacent (this is only the 3rd, but the worst haemorrhage of many hundred liver biopsies I have performed).

2. Follow pre-preparation protocols rigourously, although it doesnt mean haemorrhage will never happen (this was a single pass, non-focal biopsy).

3. Post-procedural care from radiological procedures on return to the ward is vital.

The patient stablised, without the need for embolisation or surgery.  

Ultimately the procedure helped the patient in that a treatable cause for his hepatic impairment was identified - herpes simplex hepatitis.

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Case information

rID: 27685
Published: 16th Feb 2014
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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