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ISSN: 1734-1922
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abstract:
Clinical research

Hepatopathy of unknown etiology – is liver biopsy a good tool in differential diagnosis?

Joanna Jabłońska, Joanna Cielecka-Kuszyk, Tomasz Mikuła, Joanna Kozłowska, Alicja Wiercińska-Drapało

Online publish date: 2019/04/12
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Introduction
Liver biopsy is a well-known method for the diagnosis and evaluation of chronic diffuse liver diseases, especially among patients with “hepatopathy of unknown origin”.

Material and methods
In the years 2014–2015 we performed 259 liver biopsies in 28 patients (22 females, 6 males, aged 18–65 years, mean: 45 years) with an initial diagnosis of “hepatopathy of unknown origin”. The liver biopsies of these 28 patients were revised by two independent pathologists.

Results
Histopathological features of autoimmune conditions were found in 11 cases, steatohepatitis with/without Mallory bodies in 7, simple steatosis without inflammation in 2 cases. In the other 8 cases the histopathological features were non-specific but pointed to vanishing bile duct syndrome, hemochromatosis, acute inflammation or fibrosis without inflammation. Surprisingly, only mild fibrosis without inflammatory infiltrates was present in one patient with a high titer of antinuclear antibodies (ANA > 1 : 3200). Mild cholestasis with bilirubinostasis was found in 4 cases. One patient had prominent lobular iron deposits and is now under observation for hemochromatosis. Vanishing bile duct syndrome as ductopenia without any signs of inflammation was found in one patient with suspicion of primary biliary cirrhosis. In one liver biopsy specimen we found normal liver architecture without inflammation or steatosis in a patient with elevated ALT and GGT, negative for viral antibodies and autoantibodies.

Conclusions
Liver biopsy – despite the increasing access to new, non-invasive methods – remains a useful method in the differential diagnosis of liver diseases.

keywords:

liver biopsy, hepatopathy of unknown origin, ultrasound elastography

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