What is the biopsy of liver?
The doctor may decide to confirm the
diagnosis by putting a needle through
the skin (biopsy) to take a sample of
tissue from the liver.
Why we use the biopsy?
• Although liver biopsy is often recommended it
is not always necessary.
• A liver biopsy may be performed to determine
severity of disease.
• A treatment must be needed or can be
• Biopsy may be performed if another liver
Recall that blood flows into the liver via the hepatic veins (in the portal
triad) and out of the liver via the central veins in the lobules.
Alcohol coming from the gut first makes contact with the hepatocytes nearest the
portal triad. These liver cells, therefore, will be affected first by the toxicity of alcohol.
The fibrosis (in blue in this trichrome stain) is coming "from the outside in" with
respect to the lobule. At this stage, the lobules themselves are spared.
As the heart fails, blood is backed up in the venous system. The central veins
(arrow), you recall, eventually empty into the inferior vena cava. Since the
heart is "backed up," you can see the red blood pooling near the central vein
of some lobules. In this process, fibrosis occurs "from the inside out."
The Hepatitis B virus is extremely contagious and causes widespread necrosis
of the liver. The destruction encompasses both the lobules and the
interstitium making this tissue almost unrecognizable. Fortunately, you
received the HBV vaccine when you started medical school. And since 1991, it
is recommended that all newborns receive it as well.
This is a cross section of a liver of a patient who died of liver cirrhosis. The
centrilobular cells were spared, but those closer to the connective tissue
septae died. The type of pathology thus determines which model of liver
lobules is most applicable.