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August 1973

Bacteremia After Liver Biopsy

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia; San Antonio, Tex

From the Section of Infectious Diseases, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Daroff Division, Philadelphia (Dr. McCloskey) and Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Physiology and Medicine, University of Texas Medical School, San Antonio, Tex (Drs. Gold and Weser).

Arch Intern Med. 1973;132(2):213-215. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.03650080057011

Bacteremia occurred during the six-hour period following consecutive liver biopsies. Blood was obtained immediately prior to, 15 minutes after, and two, four, and six hours after biopsy. A multiple culture system using liquid and solid media under aerobic and anaerobic conditions was used.

Observed incidence of bacteremia was 5.8% (4 of 69). Corrected incidence of asymptomatic gram-negative bacteremia was 2.9% (2 of 69). All liver biopsy cultures from bacteremic patients were sterile. We recommend obtaining blood cultures before liver biopsy if there is a history compatible with biliary or gastrointestinal tract infection. Shock, confusion, fever, or hypothermia occurring after liver biopsy may represent bacteremia rather than hemorrhage or sterile biliary peritonitis.