What is the role of liver biopsy in the evaluation of hepatitis B (HBV) (Hep B) infection?

Updated: Aug 01, 2018
  • Author: Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Liver biopsy, percutaneous or laparoscopic, is the standard means of assessing the severity of disease in patients with features of chronic active liver disease (ie, abnormal aminotransferase levels and detectable levels of hepatitis B virus [HBV] DNA).

Although liver biopsy is not indicated for patients with acute hepatitis B disease, the findings in the acute phase are predominantly lobular, with degenerative and regenerative hepatocellular changes, as well as accompanying inflammation. Necrosis may be predominantly centrilobular.


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