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Nefrologia. 2014;34(1):115-9. doi: 10.3265/Nefrologia.pre2013.Nov.12232.

[Complications associated with renal graft biopsy in transplant patients].

[Article in Spanish]



Percutaneous biopsy of renal grafts is a diagnostic method for the assessment, management and clinical monitoring of renal transplant, so it is necessary to know its complications. There are few data in the literature regarding complications from biopsies in renal grafts.


To evaluate the rate of complications in renal graft biopsies performed at our centre.


We performed a retrospective observational study, including data from patients who underwent renal graft biopsies from January 2000 to September 2012. Major complications were defined as: anemia requiring blood transfusion, intraparenchymal arteriovenous fistula or arterial bleeding requiring embolisation, nephrectomy, other surgery and exitus. And as minor complications: anemia without blood transfusion, intraparenchymal arteriovenous fistula without embolisation, haematomas or perirenal collections, hematuria and fever. Kidney biopsies were performed with ultrasound guidance and automatic devices.


We performed 390 kidney graft biopsies. 49 complications occurred. 22 were major: 12 per anemia that required blood transfusion, 6 requiring embolisation (5 arteriovenous fistulae and 1 arterial bleeding), 2 exitus, 1 trasplantectomy and 1 surgery (haematoma). 27 were minor: 12 perirenal collections, 9 arteriovenous fistulae without embolisation, 3 hematuria, 2 anemisation without blood transfusion and 1 fever.


The rate of complications related to renal graft biopsy observed in our centre is similar to those described for native kidneys, therefore we believe it remains a safe and effective technique, and an important diagnostic tool.

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