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August 1967

Hemobilia Following Percutaneous Needle Biopsy of the Liver

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Arch Surg. 1967;95(2):198-201. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330140036009

MASSIVE bleeding into the bile ducts is rare. Percutaneous needle biopsy of the liver is a commonly employed medical procedure. It is unlikely that gastrointestinal hemorrhage as a complication of liver biopsy has not occurred or been recognized prior to the episode described in this paper, yet no reported similar incident could be found.

Hemobilia is a term first used in 1946 by Sandblom1 to describe bleeding into the bile ducts. It has gained wide usage by those reporting gastrointestinal hemorrhage from within the liver and its extrahepatic ducts. First described by Owens2 in 1848, it has been rarely reported until the last decade. The literature now has many case reports most often describing blunt trauma to the liver with delayed bleeding.1-11 Reports of penetrating trauma,10.22-caliber gunshot wounds,12,13 calculous erosion of vessel and bile ducts,14,15 abscess necrosis creating biliary vascular fistulae,16