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



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.


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.


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).


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.


Liver Biopsy High-pass Hematoma 


Compliance with ethical standards


Funding for data management and analysis was provided by the Mayo Clinic Radiology Research Committee.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Boyum
    • 1
  • Thomas D. Atwell
    • 1
  • Darci J. Wall
    • 1
  • Aaron S. Mansfield
    • 2
  • Sarah E. Kerr
    • 3
  • Tina M. Gunderson
    • 4
  • Kandelaria M. Rumilla
    • 3
  • Adam J. Weisbrod
    • 1
  • A. Nicholas Kurup
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Laboratory Medicine and PathologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  4. 4.Department of Clinical StatisticsMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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