Renal biopsy


Refers to a a medical procedure in which a small piece of kidney is removed from the body for microscopic examination.

The microscopic examination of the tissue can provide information to diagnose, monitor or treat problems of the kidney.

A renal biopsy can be targeted to a particular lesion, such as a tumor mass arising from the kidney .

More commonly, however, the biopsy is directed at a non-target. as medical conditions affecting the kidney typically involve all kidney tissue indiscriminately.

In a transplanted kidney , the renal biopsy is of another person that has been transplanted into the patient.

Transplant kidney biopsy can be performed when nothing is apparently wrong, as for purposes of surveillance for hidden disease.

Renal biopsy may be performed with medical imaging to guide the positioning of biopsy equipment.

Alternatively, a biopsy may be performed without imaging-guidance using indirect assessments of position.

Kidney biopsy is performed on patients with kidney disease, and is most commonly used when less invasive tests are insufficient.

The most common reasons for native kidney biopsy:



Kidney failure

Targeted kidney biopsy can be used to obtain tissue from a tumor mass arising from or adjacent the kidney.

Transplant kidney biopsy is performed for surveillance of hidden disease involving the transplanted kidney, or when there is a deterioration in function.

Biopsied safety is affected by:

bleeding diathesis

uncontrolled severe high blood pressure

uncooperative patient

presence of a solitary native kidney


anatomical abnormalities of the kidney

skin infection at the biopsy site

medications that interfere with hemostasis


urinary tract infection


Prior to biopsy patients are to avoid medicines that impair clotting for one to two weeks before the biopsy, including medications aspirin, clopidogrel, heparin and warfarin.

Renal biopsy is typically performed by a nephrologist or interventional radiologist, and is done with the assistance of ultrasound or CT scan.

The core biopsy of kidney tissue is usually less than 1 mm in diameter and up to 1 cm long.

Biopsy may be done more than once to obtain sufficient kidney tissue.

Most facilities observe patients who have had renal biopsy for 4–6 hours to minimize the risk of bleeding.


Serious complications of renal biopsy are uncommon.

The most common complication is bleeding.


Bleeding complications include perinephric haematoma, macroscopic haematuria, or bleeding from larger blood vessels that lie adjacent the kidney.

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