Transjugular renal biopsy in patients with liver disease

Am J Kidney Dis. 2001 Jun;37(6):1144-51. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(01)99000-6.


Although transjugular renal biopsy has been used extensively in Europe, experience with its use in the United States has been limited. We report 25 patients who underwent both transjugular liver and renal biopsies in the same sitting and 4 patients who underwent only a transjugular renal biopsy. All 29 patients had both liver disease and renal abnormalities. Each patient was also believed to have a relative or absolute contraindication to a percutaneous renal biopsy (usually in the form of a bleeding abnormality). Transjugular renal biopsy yielded a quantity of tissue sufficient for diagnosis in all but 1 patient. The mean number of glomeruli obtained per biopsy was 19.4 +/- 12.2 (SD). Pathological diagnoses found were tubular injury in 5 patients, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis in 5 patients, nephrosclerosis in 3 patients, diabetic nephropathy in 2 patients, immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy in 2 patients, minimal change disease in 2 patients, end-stage renal disease in 2 patients, nonspecific changes in 1 patient, early glomerulosclerosis in 1 patient, tubular atrophy only in 1 patient, and normal renal histological characteristics in 4 patients. One patient with suspected IgA nephropathy had no histological diagnosis established because of a lack of glomeruli in the biopsy specimen. There were no instances of major bleeding from the perirenal area; however, a small perirenal hematoma was identified in 3 patients by postbiopsy computed tomography or sonography. Thus, based on our experience, transjugular renal biopsy appears to be a safe and effective procedure for establishing a histological diagnosis and is an attractive alternative biopsy method for patients with advanced liver disease and contraindications to conventional percutaneous renal biopsy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy / methods*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Creatinine