Incidence of major hemorrhage after aggressive image-guided liver mass biopsy in the era of individualized medicine

James H. Boyum, Thomas D. Atwell, Darci J. Wall, Aaron S. Mansfield, Sarah E. Kerr, Tina M. Gunderson, Kandelaria M. Rumilla, Adam J. Weisbrod, A. Nicholas Kurup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: To analyze a large volume of image-guided liver mass biopsies to assess for an increased incidence of major hemorrhage after aggressive liver mass sampling, and to determine if coaxial technique reduces major hemorrhage rate. Methods: Patients who underwent image-guided liver mass biopsy over a 15-year period (December 7, 2001–September 22, 2016) were retrospectively identified. An aggressive biopsy was defined as a biopsy event in which ≥ 4 core needle passes were performed. Association of major hemorrhage after aggressive liver mass biopsy and other potential risk factors of interest were assessed using logistic regression analysis. For the subset of aggressive biopsies, Fisher’s exact test was used to compare the incidence of major hemorrhage using coaxial versus noncoaxial techniques. Results: Aggressive biopsies constituted 11.6% of biopsy events (N =579/5011). The incidence of major hemorrhage with <4 passes was 0.4% (N =18/4432) and with ≥4 passes 1.2% (N =6/579). In univariable models, aggressive biopsy was significantly associated with major hemorrhage (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.16–6.92, p =0.025). After adjusting for gender and platelet count, the association was not significant at the p =0.05 level (OR 2.58, 95% CI 0.927–6.24, p =0.067). The rate of major hemorrhage in the coaxial biopsy technique group was 1.4% (N =3/209) compared to 1.1% (N =4/370) in the noncoaxial biopsy technique group, which was not a significant difference (p =0.707). Conclusions: Although aggressive image-guided liver mass biopsies had an increased incidence of major hemorrhage, the overall risk of bleeding remained low. The benefit of such biopsies will almost certainly outweigh the risk in most patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2067-2073
Number of pages7
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019


  • Biopsy
  • Hematoma
  • High-pass
  • Liver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology
  • Urology


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