This report describes the complications following 10,766 ultrasonically guided fine-needle biopsies performed from 1979 to 1987 in 33 Italian echographic units. The mortality was 0.018%: the two reported deaths were due to hemoperitoneum and occurred in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma arising in a cirrhotic liver. Twenty patients (0.18% had major complications. This series confirms that abdominal biopsy with fine needles is safe, even though our death rate was higher than in previous reports. Among the other nine fatalities following fine-needle abdominal biopsy reported in the literature, seven were secondary to hemorrhage. The biopsy of pancreatic carcinoma was more dangerous for needle-tract seeding (five of eight reported cases, including one in our series).
- Fatal complications
- Needle-tract seeding
- US-guided abdominal fine-needle biopsy
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