/SiteAssets/Images/FMOLHSBlankBanner.png

Health Information

Biopsy - biliary tract
Bookmarks

Biopsy - biliary tract

Print-Friendly  

Cytology analysis - biliary tract; Biliary tract biopsy

A biliary tract biopsy is the removal of small amount of cells and fluids from the duodenum, bile ducts, pancreas, or pancreatic duct. he sample is examined under a microscope.

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • How the Test is Performed

    Your doctor can take a sample for a biliary tract biopsy in different ways.

    A needle biopsy can be done if you have a well-defined tumor.

    • The biopsy site is cleaned.
    • A thin needle is inserted into the area to be tested, and a sample of cells and fluid are removed.
    • The needle is then removed.
    • Pressure is put on the area to stop any bleeding. The site will be covered with a bandage.

    If you have a narrowing or blockage of the bile or pancreatic ducts, a sample can be taken during procedures such as:

    • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
    • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTCA)
  • How to Prepare for the Test

    You may not be able to eat or drink 8-12 hours or more before the test. Your health care provider will tell you ahead of time what you need to do.

    Make sure you have someone to drive you home.

  • How the Test will Feel

    How the test will feel depends on the type of procedure used to remove the biopsy sample. With a needle biopsy,  you may feel a sting as the needle is inserted. Some people feel a cramping or pinching feeling during the procedure.

    Medicines that stop pain and help you relax are commonly used for other biliary tract biopsy methods.

  • Why the Test is Performed

    A biliary tract biopsy can determine if a tumor started in the liver or spread from another location. It also can determine if the tumor is cancerous.

    This test may be done:

    • After a doctor's examination, x-ray, MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound shows abnormal growths in your biliary tract
    • To test for diseases or infection
  • Normal Results

    A normal result means there are no signs of cancer, disease, or infection in the biopsy sample.

  • What Abnormal Results Mean

    Abnormal results may be due to:

    • Cancer of the bile ducts (cholangiocarcinoma)
    • Cysts in the liver
    • Liver cancer
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Swelling and scarring of the bile ducts (primary sclerosing cholangitis)
  • Risks

    Risks depend on how the biopsy sample was taken.

    Risks may include:

    • Bleeding at the biopsy site
    • Infection

Related Information

  DuodenumBileMalignancyX-rayMRIUltrasoundHepaticCystPancreatic cancer...Cholangiocarcinoma...    

References

Afdahl NH. Diseases of the gall bladder and bile ducts In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 158.

Stockland AH, Baron TH. Endoscopic and radiologic treatment of biliary disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 70.

BACK TO TOP 

Review Date: 1/22/2013  

Reviewed By: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

 
A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and Google Chrome browser.