Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Needle core biopsy is a key tool in diagnosis and assessment of many medical liver diseases, but there is evidence that the combination of small size of the specimen obtained and the patchy nature of many of these diseases can result in misdiagnosis or incorrect staging. The Royal College of Pathologists has therefore published guidelines for assessment of adequacy. To assess whether these guidelines were being observed, we reviewed cases reported in our department over a 15-year period. Results showed that only 19.8% of cores would be considered adequate, 56.4% were suboptimal and 23.8% were inadequate. We discuss the issues around recommendations on the minimum size of liver biopsies, potential factors limiting biopsy size and whether further refinement of the guidelines for adequacy is required.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Pathol

Publication Date





1087 - 1089


Audit, Hepatitis, Liver Disease, Biopsy, Large-Core Needle, Humans, Liver, Liver Diseases, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Retrospective Studies