The ultrasound guided percutaneous fine needle biopsy (US-FNAB) of focal lesions in the liver is indispensable in many clinical situations. During the last 12 years, 657 US-FNAB were performed on patients with suspected neoplastic involvement of the liver with 22-gauge Chiba needles at our department. US-FNAB was performed mostly with the "free hand" technique. Sufficient material for cytologic analysis was obtained in 84% of the cases. The biopsies confirmed malignancy in 39.3%, including 9% primary hepatocellular carcinoma, 8% of the cases were suspect for malignancy, and in 36.7% were diagnosed benign lesion. 233 cases were confirmed histologically and with other follow up methods. The sensitivity rate was 91%, and specificity was 100%. There was no false positive diagnosis and no noteworthy complications were observed. US-FNAB is a highly reliable, safe, inexpensive and easy diagnostic procedure. On the basis of our experience, we recommend US-FNAB as a routine, first level procedure for the diagnosis of focal liver diseases.