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What is Renal biopsy ?
2020-05-27

What is Renal biopsy ?

Renal biopsy or kidney biopsy is a medical procedure in which a small piece of kidney is removed from the body for microscopic examination, which can provide the information needed to diagnose, monitor or treat problems of the kidney.

Renal biopsy or kidney biopsy is a medical procedure in which a small piece of kidney is removed from the body for microscopic examination, which can provide the information needed to diagnose, monitor or treat problems of the kidney.
Why would you be subjected to a Renal Biopsy?
A kidney biopsy may be needed when blood and urine tests, ultrasound scans and other radiology imaging have not been able to give doctors enough information about your kidney problem. 

Some problems that might need a kidney biopsy include:
  • Blood frequently appearing in your urine.
  • Large amounts of protein in your urine, such as in nephrotic syndrome.
  • Your kidney function has deteriorated rapidly and it’s not known why.
If you’ve had a kidney transplant, a biopsy can identify why your kidney isn’t working well and what treatment you need.

In spite of the availability of new and less invasive tests, a kidney biopsy is still an irreplaceable tool in assessing diagnosis and prognosis and guiding the treatment of many kidney diseases. 

What sort of expertise is required for Renal Biopsy?
Specially trained pathologists and laboratories with specialized equipment are required for reading and interpreting these biopsies. Since most kidney diseases are caused by immune mechanisms, correct diagnosis requires ordinary light microscopic as well as specialized immunomorphological assessment, the most reliable being direct immunofluorescence of cryosections with a panel of fluorochrome-labelled antibodies to various serum proteins.

We, at VPS Lakeshore hospital, handle both native and transplant kidney biopsies, in house and from outside hospitals. A native kidney biopsy is one in which the patient's own kidneys are biopsied. In a transplant biopsy, the kidney of another person that has been transplanted into the patient is biopsied. Biopsy from the transplanted kidney is the gold standard to identify early or silent rejection that sometimes can occur without an increase in blood creatinine levels. It can also identify early scarring that can happen with chronic rejection and also injury to the kidney from medications. Sometimes problems can go on for a long time before the creatinine rises, so biopsy findings can help the doctor make the best decisions for treatment.

Dr. Pushpa Mahadevan
Department of Pathology
VPS lakeshore hospital