What is the role of liver biopsy in the workup of hepatitis C (hep C) infection?

Updated: Oct 07, 2019
  • Author: Vinod K Dhawan, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FIDSA; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Liver biopsy is not considered mandatory before the initiation of treatment for hepatitis C, but it may be helpful for assessing the activity and severity of hepatitis C virus-related liver disease. However, some experts recommend biopsy only in the following situations:

  • The diagnosis is uncertain
  • Other coinfections or disease may be present
  • The patient being considered for treatment has normal liver enzyme levels and no extrahepatic manifestations
  • The patient is immunocompromised

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