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April 12, 1971

Bile Leakage Following Menghini Needle Liver Biopsy

Author Affiliations

Hanover, NH

JAMA. 1971;216(2):333. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180280087027

To the Editor.—  This report documents an unusual complication of needle biopsy of the liver by the Menghini technique, namely, bile leakage in a patient with low-grade obstructive jaundice.

Report of a Case.—  A 74-year-old white housewife was admitted to the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital on May 15, 1969, for the evaluation of jaundice. The patient had felt well until February of 1969. at which time she became depressed and complained of nondescript "throat discomfort." On May 9, she noted dark urine and light stools and on May 10, was observed to be icteric. There was no pruritus.In 1959, a radical mastectomy on the right side had been performed for adenocarcinoma of the breast with axillary metastases. The patient's only medication had been phenobarbital, 0.016 gm, three times a day.The results of blood chemical analyses reflecting liver function are summarized in the Table.On May 20, 1969, needle