The clinical diagnosis and prognosis of hepatic disease are frequently beset with considerable uncertainty and inaccuracy, despite the aid of numerous tests of hepatic function and recent improvements in the technic of roentgen examination. As a result, patients with hepatomegaly are often subjected needlessly to exploratory laparotomy, the liver being found to be studded with metastatic carcinoma. On one recent occasion, diagnostic aspiration of the liver was performed in a case in which hepatic suppuration was suspected (case 1). Aspiration yielded a few fragments of tissue which on histologic examination showed carcinoma. This work was subsequently extended, and forty-seven additional aspirations of tissue for biopsy were performed in thirty-four cases. It was observed that, as a procedure for patients in the wards, the diagnosis of obscure hepatic disease often could be made by this method with a reasonable degree of safety. The danger of hemorrhage, which has deterred surgeons from
BARON E. ASPIRATION FOR REMOVAL OF BIOPSY MATERIAL FROM THE LIVERREPORT OF THIRTY-FIVE CASES. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;63(2):276–289. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00180190078005
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