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Pediatric Percutaneous Liver Biopsy

The perm in “percutaneous” means “to go through the skin.” During a percutaneous liver biopsy, a doctor places a needle through the skin of the right upper abdomen into the liver and takes small pieces of tissue to send to a laboratory for analysis. In most cases, the Interventional Radiology team at Children's National Hospital uses this procedure to determine why a child has increased liver enzymes. Causes include hepatitis or biliary atresia, which is the underdevelopment of the bile ducts leading to the small intestine.

liver biopsy diagram