Prospective evaluation of accuracy of liver biopsy findings in the identification of chemotherapy-associated liver injuries

Luca Viganò, Nicoletta Ravarino, Alessandro Ferrero, Manuela Motta, Bruno Torchio, Lorenzo Capussotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the accuracy of liver biopsy findings in preoperative assessment of chemotherapy-associated liver injuries (CALIs). Design : Prospective study. Setting: Tertiary care referral hospital. Patients: From July 1, 2007, to January 31, 2011, all patients with colorectal metastases receiving preoperative oxaliplatin- and/or irinotecan-based chemotherapy (≥4 cycles) were considered for the present study. Patients underwent parenchymal biopsy before liver resection. Blinded CALI evaluation was performed on biopsy and resection specimens. Intervention: Liver resection. Main Outcome Measures: Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of liver biopsy in CALI evaluation. Results: We included 100 patients. At specimen analysis, grade 2or 3 steatosis was diagnosed in 30 patients; grade 2 or 3 sinusoidal dilatation, in 28; grade 2 hepatocellular ballooning, in 3; grade 2 or 3 lobular inflammation, in 25; and steatohepatitis in 19. Obesity was associated with grade 3 steatosis (20.8% vs 5.3%; odds ratio [OR], 4.74 [P =.03]) and steatohepatitis (33.3% vs 14.5%; OR, 2.96 [P =.04]). Oxaliplatin administration was associated with higher sinusoidal dilatation grade (P =.049). Mortality (2 cases) was increased among patients with steatohepatitis (10.5% vs 0; OR, 13.67 [P =.04]). Biopsy findings correctly predicted steatosis (sensitivity, 88.9%; accuracy, 93.0%) but had low sensitivity and accuracy for sinusoidal dilatation (21.4% and 63.0%, respectively), hepatocellular ballooning (16.0% and 69.0%, respectively), lobular inflammation (20.0% and 78.0%, respectively), and steatohepatitis (21.1% and 79.0%, respectively). Biopsy accuracy did not improve regarding specific chemotherapy regimens or prolonged treatments. Conclusions: Liver biopsy cannot be considered a reliable tool in assessing CALIs except for steatosis. The procedure should not be recommended during preoperative workup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1091
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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