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November 11, 1968

Fracture of Menghini Needle In Liver Biopsy

Author Affiliations

Fresno, Calif

JAMA. 1968;206(7):1575-1576. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150070113033

To the Editor:  Despite general warnings to the contrary, the liver biopsy is frequently done by those not specifically trained in the technique. This report describes a case in which a replacement obturator for the Menghini liver-biopsy needle was provided by the hospital Central Supply Section without knowledge of the physicians. The use of the replacement obturator by a relatively inexperienced operator resulted in the bending and fracture of the needle near the hub, leaving the distal portion of the metal in the abdominal wall of the patient.

Report of a Case:—  A 70-year old divorced white man in May 1965 complained of pain in the right upper quadrant of six weeks' duration and fever of approximately ten days' duration, after rib fractures which healed spontaneously.The pain was intermittent, unassociated with food intake and was made worse by lying on the right side or the abdomen. The patient had