Safety of percutaneous liver biopsy in infants less than three months old

R. K. Azzam, E. M. Alonso, K. M. Emerick, Peter F. Whitington*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objectives: To evaluate the safety, outcomes, and complications of percutaneous liver biopsies (PLB) in infants aged 0 to 3 months. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the hospital records of all infants less than 3 months old who underwent PLB at Children's Memorial Hospital between July 1, 1997 and June 30, 2004 for complications surrounding the procedure and risk factors that might lead to complications. Results: Sixty-six PLBs were performed in 63 infants. Most patients tolerated the procedure without complications. Twelve complications were recorded, for an overall complication rate of 18%. Of these, five were directly related to the procedure, and seven were sedation related. Three patients experienced a drop in hemoglobin greater than 2 gm/dL, one patient developed a bile leak, and one developed a skin hematoma. Seven patients had respiratory difficulty related to sedation, which manifested as increased work of breathing or decreased respiratory rate with depression in pulse oximetry. Conclusion: We conclude that PLB in young infants is associated with a somewhat higher risk of complications than in older children, particularly complications related to sedation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-643
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2005


  • Bleeding
  • Infants
  • Percutaneous liver biopsy
  • Sedation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Safety of percutaneous liver biopsy in infants less than three months old'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this