Efficacy and Complications of 16 Gauge Vs 18 Gauge Core Biopsy Needle in Ultrasound Guided Percutaneous Liver Biopsies

Junaid iqbal, Amjad Sattar, Nauman Al Qamari, Munawar Hussain, Sadia Rashid


Objective: Efficacy and complications of 16 Gauge and 18 Gauge core biopsy needle in ultrasound guided
percutaneous liver biopsies.
Materials & Methods: We prospectively analyzed 426 patients of either gander who underwent USG-guided
liver biopsies for histopathological evaluation of space occupying lesion of liver or diffuse liver disease in our
institute from January 2016 to December 2016.
Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS version 21. For quantitative variables, such as patient’s age,
mean and standard deviation were calculated while frequency and percentages were calculated for qualitative
variables such as gender, complications and status of repeat biopsy. Comparison of age and gender was done
with respect to diagnosis of the patients. One-way ANOVA test was applied to see the association of age and
diagnosis whereas chi-square test was applied for gender and diagnosis of the patients. P-value <0.05 was taken
as significant.
Results: A total of 426 patients were included in the study, out of which 244 (57.3%) were males while 182
(42.7%) were females. 202 (47.41%) patients underwent liver biopsy by 16 gauge core biopsy needle while
224 (52.58%) patients had biopsies using 18 gauge needle.
Overall, mild pain was found in 86 (20.2%) patients, severe pain in 36 (8.5%) patients, vasovagal in 13 (3.1%)
patients, local hematoma in 12 (2.8%), severe hemorrhage in 3 (0.7%), pneumothorax in 2 (0.5%) patients while
20 (4.7%) samples were inadequate. Number of inadequate specimen was significantly higher in patients who
underwent biopsy by 18 gauge core biopsy needle (p-value 0.001). Severe pain was significantly higher in
patients; who underwent biopsy by 16 gauge needle (p-value 0.016).
Conclusion: Ultrasound guided percutaneous liver biopsy using either 16 or 18 gauge core biopsy needle is
safe and effective method to characterize liver pathology with very low rate of complications. However 16
gauge needle should be preferred as the inadequacy of specimen in our study was higher for 18 gauge needle.


Biopsy, Ultrasonography, core biopsy needle.

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