Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18621800
Alcohol Alcohol. 2008 Sep-Oct;43(5):559-63
BACKGROUND: Liver biopsy indication for the evaluation of alcoholic liver disease is controversial. Our aim was to investigate the influence of the biopsy on the patients’ motivation for abstinence.
METHODS: We retrospectively analysed, in a population of 324 patients hospitalized for alcohol withdrawal, the impact of liver biopsy on the following clinical outcomes: rapid loss to follow-up (immediately after hospital discharge), early relapse ( 12 months). The biopsy was performed in 136 patients who had liver enzymes perturbations. Hepatic lesions were graded as mild (isolated steatosis and/or non-bridging fibrosis), moderate (bridging fibrosis and/or moderate alcoholic hepatitis) or severe (cirrhosis and/or marked alcoholic hepatitis) in 66 (48%), 41 (30%) and 29 (21%) cases, respectively.
RESULTS: In univariate analysis, patients who had a liver biopsy were less likely to be rapidly lost to follow-up (12% versus 27%, P = 0.003) but had a lower rate of long-term abstinence (20% versus 34%, P = 0.025). In multivariate analysis, age was the only factor significantly associated with clinical outcome: older patients had higher rate of long-term abstinence (OR = 1.041; P = 0.010). Among patients who had a biopsy, those with severe hepatic lesions had a lower rate of rapid relapse than those with moderate or mild lesions (32% versus 68% and 56%, P = 0.018) but the rate of long-term abstinence was similar in the three groups.
CONCLUSION: This observational study does not support the notion that liver biopsy has a significant influence on the maintenance of alcohol abstinence in patients with alcoholic liver disease.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18621800