Electrocautery of the tract after needle biopsy of the liver to reduce blood loss experience in the canine model

Edwin H. Kim, Kenyon K. Kopecky, O. William Cummings, R. Gerald Dreesen, David C. Pound

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. Bleeding is the most common complication of needle biopsy of the liver. This study was designed to assess the feasibility of using unipolar electrocautery to decrease bleeding. METHODS. Under general anesthesia, the livers of eight dogs were surgically exposed. A mean of 15 biopsies was obtained with 18-gauge needles from each liver by alternating biopsies without and with electrocautery. Cautery was performed by applying radiofrequency energy at 25 watts (6 animals) or 125 watts (2 animals) to the needle as the needle was withdrawn from the liver. Blood loss was measured by applying pre-weighed sponges to the biopsy site, then reweighing them after use. Biopsy specimens were examined by light microscopy. RESULTS. The mean (± SD) blood loss was 0.44 g (± 1.36 g) with electrocautery and 1.47 g (± 2.23 g) without electrocautery (P < .01). No thermal injury was noted in the biopsy specimens when cautery was applied at 25 watts. CONCLUSIONS. The application of radiofrequency current to the biopsy needle after liver biopsy is a feasible and effective method to reduce blood loss in our canine model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-230
Number of pages3
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1993


  • Biopsy
  • Electrocautery
  • Liver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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