Background. The role of liver biopsy in the evaluation of a candidate for living liver donation is controversial. Some authors suggest doing it routinely, but others do it only in selected cases. The aim of this work was to evaluate the usefulness of protocol liver biopsy in the evaluation of candidates for living liver donation.
Methods. Ninety potential candidates for living liver donation were evaluated. In 46 cases donation was contraindicated without the need of liver biopsy. In the remaining 44 candidates, liver biopsy was done on a protocol basis. The usefulness of protocol biopsy was compared with the use of biopsy according to the recommendations of the Vancouver Forum.
Results. Fifteen of the 44 biopsies were indicated according to the recommendations of the Vancouver Forum. Twelve of them were normal, and 3 had liver steatosis or steatohepatitis. Of the 29 biopsies done per protocol, 28 were normal and 1 showed liver steatosis. Donation was contraindicated according to liver biopsy findings in 3 of the 15 patients with liver biopsy done according to the Vancouver Forum recommendations and in none of the 29 patients with biopsy done per protocol (P=.034).
Conclusions. Protocol liver biopsy has a limited utility in the evaluation of the candidates for living liver donation.