Liver biopsy is a vital part of chronic viral hepatitis management. Pathologists should view these biopsies as screening tools for other liver diseases. We describe our experience in a 6-year period and discuss the pathologist's role. Liver biopsies of 1,842 patients with hepatitis B or C, for the 2001-2007 period at the University Health Network, Toronto, Canada, were reviewed; 410 other diagnoses were documented in 377 patients (20.5%; mean age, 25.4 years; range, 15-80 years). These diagnoses included 58 hepatocellular carcinomas and 16 dysplastic nodules, which are recognized complications of chronic viral hepatitis. The remaining findings included the following: steatosis/ steatohepatitis, 251; hemosiderosis, 62; granulomatous disease, 7; drug-induced hepatitis, 4; primary biliary cirrhosis, 3; Wilson disease, 2; metastases, 2; and cholangiocarcinoma, atypical lymphoid proliferation, α1-antitrypsin deficiency, cystic fibrosis, and schistosomiasis, 1 each. Liver biopsies in patients with viral hepatitis revealed other processes with the potential to modify disease progression and/or the management strategy in 20.5% of patients.
- Chronic viral hepatitis
- Liver biopsy