Background: Transjugular liver biopsy (TJLB) can be performed to obtain more than two cores safely. This advantage has not been evaluated in terms of diagnostic accuracy or grading/staging evaluation.
Aim: To evaluate whether three separate cores of TJLB provide more histological information compared with two or one cores.
Methods: Twenty-three patients, who had three separate passes, with each core ≥7mm in length using a 19G Tru-cut needle, were evaluated. Each TJLB was blindly coded; the pathologist randomly assessed: (a) each core separately covering the other two, (b) two cores simultaneously covering the third and (c) the three cores together for diagnostic yield, inflammation and fibrosis.
Results: The mean TJLB length was 32±5.5mm. In 12 one-core (52%) and 18 2-core (78%) assessments, diagnosis (mainly cirrhosis) was made correctly in each core. The within-patient standard deviations for one-core vs two-core assessment were similar for grading (0.42 and 0.47, respectively), but higher for staging (0.39 and 0.15, respectively). Staging was underestimated in assessing one-core and less for two cores compared to three cores.
Conclusion: Three non-fragmented cores (each core ≥7mm in length) of TJLB can be considered a minimum requirement for histological assessment, giving better reproducibility in diagnosis as well as for inflammation and fibrosis.