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Clinical Notes
October 5, 1964

Electrocautery in Percutaneous Liver Biopsy

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Surgery, and Pathology, State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Edlich is now a resident in surgery, University of Minnesota; Dr. Upson is an associate in surgery, and Dr. Brennan is Chief of the Department of Pathology, Buffalo General Hospital.

JAMA. 1964;190(1):68-69. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070140074019

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

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