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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology - Volume 17 2003, Issue 11, Pages 651-654

Original Article Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Received 9 May 2003; Revised 9 May 2003

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This open-access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License CC BY-NC, which permits reuse, distribution and reproduction of the article, provided that the original work is properly cited and the reuse is restricted to noncommercial purposes.


The role of liver biopsy in the diagnosis and management of liver disease is a controversial issue even among hepatologists. Although most causes of elevated liver enzymes can be determined, or at least suspected, on the basis of a careful history and laboratory tests, histological assessment remains the gold standard for most liver diseases. Histological evaluation can either confirm or refute clinical diagnoses and can provide information about the severity and stage of disease. Occasionally, the liver biopsy also provides an additional diagnosis. The spectrum of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease accounts for a substantial proportion of cases of chronically elevated liver enzymes and can be reliably diagnosed only by liver biopsy. Prognostic information can be obtained in patients with this disorder, as well as in those with alcoholic liver disease and viral hepatitis, and liver biopsy can be used as a guide to their management.

Autor: Florence Wong



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