A liver biopsy is a medical procedure performed to obtain a small piece of liver tissue for diagnostic testing. Liver biopsies are sometimes called percutaneous liver biopsies, because the tissue sample is obtained by going through the patient's skin.
A liver biopsy is usually done to diagnose a tumor, or to evaluate the extent of damage that has occurred to the liver because of chronic disease. Biopsies are often performed to identify abnormalities in liver tissues after imaging studies have failed to yield clear results.
A liver biopsy may be ordered to evaluate any of the following conditions or disorders: