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Kidney Int Rep. 2017 Nov 20;3(2):412-416. doi: 10.1016/j.ekir.2017.11.008. eCollection 2018 Mar.

A Survey of Patient Attitudes Toward Participation in Biopsy-Based Kidney Research.

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Section of Nephrology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Program of Applied Translational Research, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
VA Medical Center, West Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Section of General Internal Medicine and Chair, Human Investigation Committee, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.



As part of the precision medicine initiative, the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases has proposed collecting human kidney tissue to discover novel therapeutic targets from patients with kidney diseases. Patient attitudes on participating in kidney biopsy-based research are largely unknown.


We evaluated attitudes toward donating kidney tissue to research among participants who had experienced a clinically indicated kidney biopsy, through a survey conducted 9 months (interquartile range, 5-13 months) after their biopsy.


Of the 177 participants contacted, 117 (66%) participated in the survey. A total of 85 participants (73%) reported that they would allow additional needle passes during a clinically indicated biopsy to donate kidney tissue for research. As reasons for participating in such a study, the participants reported the desire to help others and to contribute to science, and the lack of additional burden while participating in such a study. In a multivariable logistic model, older and African American participants had lower odds of allowing an additional pass for research (odds ratio: age ≥65 years [vs. ≤40], 0.15 [95% confidence interval, 0.03-0.73]; African Americans (vs. all others), 0.15 [95% confidence interval, 0.05-0.44]). However, participants' self-reported biopsy complications such as pain, anxiety, and hematuria did not affect their willingness to allow additional passes. A total of 23 participants (20%) stated that they would agree to undergo a biopsy for research even if it was not clinically indicated.


Among patients who had experienced a kidney biopsy, a majority were amenable to additional needle passes to donate kidney tissue for research during a future, clinically indicated biopsy, whereas a minority would undergo a biopsy for research purpose only.


acute kidney injury; biopsy; chronic kidney disease; kidney diseases; survey

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