Outpatient Percutaneous Liver Biopsy in Children

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We reviewed data from 184 percutaneous liver biopsies performed as an outpatient procedure in 104 patients (5 weeks to 22 years of age) over a 4-year period. Hepatic allograft rejection was the indication for 130 of the biopsy procedures, while 54 were performed for a variety of indications in patients who had not undergone transplant. Abnormalities of coagulation that necessitated correction were present in 19 patients at the time of biopsy. Patients tolerated the procedure well. There were no major complications. None of the patients required blood product transfusion or hospitalization as a result of the procedure. Two patients suffered respiratory depression as a complication of sedation, which was easily reversed with administration of intravenous naloxone. Two specimens were insufficient for interpretation. We conclude that percutaneous liver biopsy in the proper outpatient setting can reduce the need for hospitalization solely for the purpose of the procedure.

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