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A 27-year-old member asked:

do i need a liver biopsy if i have hepatitis?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arthur Heller
Gastroenterology 43 years experience
Maybe: Depends on the type of hepatitis. Usually not done for acute hep. Can see if viral, or other cause, e.g. Autoimmune, toxic, drug hepatitis. Biopsy may help define the stage of disease, the amt of inflammation and scarring present. May affect decisions re: treatment type and/or duration.
Dr. Barry Kahn
Pathology 31 years experience
Perhaps: Given the diagnosis of chronic hepatitis, liver biopsy is often performed to assess a baseline involvement of the liver. After getting that baseline, further liver biopsies may be performed to assess treatment effects, progression of disease and the presence/absence of fibrosis and cirrhosis.
Dr. Brett Kalmowitz
Gastroenterology 22 years experience
If it changes rx: In general a liver biopsy is useful to "stage" liver disease. It is the best way to assess how much damage hepatitis has caused to the liver. However there are some noninvasive and clinical ways of detecting different levels of disease, especially cirrhosis. I usually recommend biopsy for my patients who are opting against current treatments to assure that we are not missing progressive disease.
Dr. Brandon Martinez
Radiology 17 years experience
Depends: Most physicians will follow your liver enzymes through blood work and ultrasound scanning of the liver to follow the process of hepatitis. Viral counts will also be followed. Liver biopsy is usually not performed until there is an indication of liver dysfunction such as dramatic change in liver enzymes or findings on ultrasound.

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How long is the needle that is used for liver biopsy?

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Long enough :-): A hepatologist (specialist in liver disease) can tell you precisely. But most would probably agree that the needle used is "long enough.".
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Roughly about 6-8 inch long
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Husbnd has stg 4 cirrosis liver cncer, I know the cirrosis is stage 4 but confused about how severe (what stage) liver cancer is?

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Last updated Feb 12, 2016

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