Needle biopsy of the liver is a means of securing a strip of hepatic tissue for histologic examination by a relatively simple procedure that can be performed at the patient's bedside. The idea is not new. It was first suggested in 1895.1 Although a few investigators in Europe employed the method, it received little attention until 1939. Since then there have been many reports on its application. Table 1 lists the references to the literature that have been examined.
In addition to the references listed, other series of cases as yet unpublished have been made known to me. Iversen2 in Copenhagen, Denmark, states that over 600 biopsies have now been performed in his clinic. Davis2 in New Orleans has recently completed a series of 96 cases; Schiff2 and his co-workers in Cincinnati have performed 60 such examinations, and Ducci2 in Santiago, Chile, has done 62.