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Audit of medical (non-targeted) liver biopsy specimen quality, pathology reporting and effect on patient management
  1. Sidhant Seth1,2,
  2. Ewan H Forrest2,3,
  3. Judith M Morris4,
  4. Mathis Heydtmann5,
  5. Prakash Konanahalli1,
  6. Gabriele Kohnen1,
  7. Karin A Oien1,6
  1. 1Pathology Department, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  3. 3Gastroenterology Department, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK
  4. 4Gastroenterology Department, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, UK
  5. 5Gastroenterology Department, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, UK
  6. 6Institute of Cancer Sciences, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sidhant Seth, Pathology Department, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, UK; Sidhant.Seth{at}


Aims To evaluate our medical liver pathology practice and its influence on patient management, using audit templates published by the UK Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath).

Methods We audited medical liver biopsies reported in our centre in 2019 using RCPath proformas. Data were collected from pathology reports and corresponding electronic patient record.

Results 60 cases were selected for audit from 135 eligible biopsies reported in 2019. 58/60 cases were core biopsies and 2/60 were laparoscopic wedge biopsies. 53/57 (93%) core biopsies with available data met RCPath adequacy criteria (length >15 mm and/or ≥6 portal tracts). Most reports (57/60; 95%) were judged to have helped patient management. 25/60 (42%) biopsy reports helped to clarify the clinical diagnosis and 48/60 (80%) led to altered management.

Conclusions We demonstrate the utility of the RCPath audit templates, highlighting the clinical value of medical liver biopsies in the diagnostic work-up and management of patients with liver disease.

  • clinical audit
  • liver diseases
  • image-guided biopsy
  • pathology department
  • hospital
  • gastroenterology

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  • Handling editor Dhirendra Govender.

  • Twitter @DrSidSeth

  • Contributors KAO and SS planned the project. PK, GK and KAO performed the original pathology reporting. SS collected the raw pathology and clinical data and analysed the data. EHF, JMM and MH reviewed the clinical data. SS wrote the initial manuscript with contributions and revisions by all other authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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