Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 133-139

Liver biopsy for histological assessment: The case in favor

1 Gastroenterology and Hepatology Division, Department of Medicine, Liver Disease Research Center, King Saud University Liver Research Center, College of Medicine, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Khalid A Alswat
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, King Saud University Liver Research Center, College of Medicine, PO Box 7897, Riyadh - 11159
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.61245

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Liver biopsy (LB) is the gold standard method for assessment of liver histology. It provides valuable, otherwise unobtainable information, regarding the degree of fibrosis, parenchymal integrity, degree and pattern of inflammation, bile duct status and deposition of materials and minerals in the liver. This information provides immense help in the diagnosis and prognostication of a variety of liver diseases. With careful selection of patients, and performance of the procedure appropriately, the complications become exceptionally rare in current clinical practice. Furthermore, the limitations of sampling error and inter-/intra-observer variability may be avoided by obtaining adequate tissue specimen and having it reviewed by an experienced liver pathologist. Current noninvasive tools are unqualified to replace LB in clinical practice in the face of specific limitations for each tool, compounded by a poorer performance towards the assessment of the degree of liver fibrosis, particularly for intermediate stages.

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