A retrospective review of all 248 liver biopsies performed in patients with HIV infection at two referral centres in London over a 12 year period revealed five cases of major bleeding following biopsy, with four deaths. The risk of major bleeding was 2.0%, and mortality was 1.6% following liver biopsy. The risk of bleeding as much higher than in published series of biopsies done in patients without HIV infection, owing in part to the high prevalence of thrombocytopaenia and clotting abnormalities in patients with HIV infection. HIV infection per se may also increase the risk of bleeding following liver biopsy.
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