Transjugular liver biopsy or transvenous liver biopsy is a procedure in which cells from the liver are gathered for examination through an innovative technique that doesn’t require piercing the liver from outside the body.

Biopsies are usually done by inserting a small needle inserted directly into the liver and extracting the necessary cells. This type of biopsy can be difficult to perform if the patient has large amounts of fluid in the abdomen, and piercing the liver with the biopsy needle can cause complications in patients with bleeding disorders.

In transjugular liver biopsy, a catheter is inserted into the jugular vein and guided via fluoroscopy (live x-ray) to a primary vein of the liver. The biopsy needle is then threaded through the catheter and guided into the liver to gather tissue. Any blood lost from the liver simply returns to the bloodstream, resulting in minimal blood loss.