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Renal Biopsy (Kidney Biopsy)

Renal biopsy (also kidney biopsy) is a medical procedure in which a small piece of kidney is removed from the body for examination, usually under a microscope. Microscopic examination of the tissue can provide information needed to diagnose, monitor or treat problems of the kidney.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

About Kidney Biopsy

A biopsy is a diagnostic test that involves collecting small pieces of tissue, usually through a needle, for examination with a microscope. A kidney biopsy can help in forming a diagnosis and in choosing the best course of treatment. A kidney biopsy may be recommended for any of the following conditions:

A pathologist will look at the kidney tissue samples to check for unusual deposits, scarring, or infecting organisms that would explain a person's condition. The doctor may find a condition that can be treated and cured. If a person has progressive kidney failure, the biopsy may show how quickly the disease is advancing. A biopsy can also help explain why a transplanted kidney is not working properly... Read more about Kidney Biopsy NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Revision sistematica: efecto del reposo en la prevencion de complicaciones tras la biopsia renal percutanea [Effect of bed rest in preventing complications after percutaneous renal biopsy]

Bibliographic details: Roman M, Ruiz M J.  Revision sistematica: efecto del reposo en la prevencion de complicaciones tras la biopsia renal percutanea [Effect of bed rest in preventing complications after percutaneous renal biopsy]. Enfermeria Clinica 2003; 3(6): 360-368

Non-Invasive Diagnostic Assessment Tools for the Detection of Liver Fibrosis in Patients with Suspected Alcohol-Related Liver Disease: A Systematic Review and Economic Evaluation

Excessive alcohol consumption may lead to the development of alcoholrelated liver disease (ALD). Liver biopsy may be used in patients with suspected ALD to confirm the diagnosis, exclude other or additional liver pathologies, and provide accurate staging of the degree of liver injury in order to enable the prediction of prognosis and inform treatment decisions. However, as it is an invasive procedure that carries the risk of morbidity and mortality, current UK guidance recommends that biopsy is not required to confirm the diagnosis in patients with a high clinical suspicion of ALD in whom blood tests have excluded other causes of liver disease, unless it is necessary to confirm a diagnosis of acute alcoholic hepatitis in order to inform specific treatment decisions.

Cost-effectiveness of non-invasive methods for assessment and monitoring of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis in patients with chronic liver disease: systematic review and economic evaluation

The study found that treating all patients with chronic hepatitis C without a prior non-invasive liver test (NILT) is cost-effective; however, recently approved interferon-free regimens were not included. For hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-negative patients, this strategy is cost-effective only if the higher cost-effectiveness threshold is appropriate. For HBeAg-positive patients, two NILTs applied sequentially were cost-effective but highly uncertain. No conclusive results could be obtained for alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Most studies evaluating non-invasive fibrosis tests had a high risk of bias.

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Summaries for consumers

Partial nephrectomy for the treatment of clinically localised renal carcinomas

We reviewed the evidence to compare the effects of removing only the tumour (partial nephrectomy) versus removing the entire kidney (radical nephrectomy) in individuals with a small kidney cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body.

Transitional Cell Cancer of the Renal Pelvis and Ureter Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter treatment is primarily surgery. In the case that the cancer has spread or come back, chemotherapy is sometimes used.  Learn more about the treatment for these cancers in this expert-reviewed summary.

Renal Cell Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Renal cell cancer treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, biologic therapy, and targeted therapy. Learn more about the treatment of newly diagnosed and recurrent renal cell cancer in this expert-reviewed summary.

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Terms to know

A procedure in which a tiny piece of a body part, such as the colon or liver, is removed for examination with a microscope.
Blood in the urine.
A doctor who has special training in identifying diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.
A condition in which the urine contains large amounts of protein, a sign that the kidneys are not working properly.

More about Renal Biopsy

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Other terms to know: See all 4
Biopsy, Hematuria, Pathologist

Related articles:
What Happens During a Biopsy

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