HEMORRHAGE and bile peritonitis are the most frequent complications and chief causes of death from percutaneous needle biopsy of the liver.1 Impaired coagulation and obstructive jaundice enhance the danger of severe bleeding. In an attempt to avoid liver biopsy complications in patients with coagulation defects and/or obstructive jaundice, an electrocautery attachment to a liver-biopsy needle has been designed. A quantitative and qualitative statistical analysis of the bleeding times at the electrocautery and control biopsy sites in normal dogs, dogs treated with anticoagulants and metaraminol bitartrate, and dogs with common-bile-duct ligation, demonstrated that the electrocautery modification significantly reduced bleeding.
Materials and Methods
A standard Silverman liver-biopsy needle with a thin Teflon sheath surrounding all but the distal I cm of the cannula was used. A conducting terminal soldered to the needle handle was connected to the electrocautery ( Bovie Model CSV) by a wire. Coagulation current with a power control setting