Transjugular renal biopsy. Our experience with 67 cases

Kidney Blood Press Res. 2001;24(3):207-12. doi: 10.1159/000054229.


Background: Transjugular renal biopsy (TJRB) is still a novel technique of renal tissue sampling exploiting the transjugular route. TJRB should be performed particularly in situations when the percutaneous route is precluded, i.e. especially in patients with clotting disorders. In the past, only a few papers reported the experience with larger numbers of patients. The goal of this paper is to analyze our experience with TJRB.

Methods and results: From 1993 to 1999, 67 patients, mean age 49.8 years (SD +/- 10.2), male/female ratio 40/27, underwent TJRB. Fifty-two patients (78%) suffered from renal insufficiency and 19 of them (28%) were on dialysis treatment at the time of TJRB. Arterial hypertension was recorded in 42%. The combined kidney and liver biopsy (46%) and clotting disorders (39%) were the most frequent indications for performing TJRB. Renal tissue was yielded in 53 patients (79%) but a sample sufficient for histological diagnosis was taken in 49 (73%), reaching on average 10.8 glomeruli. Altogether 19 different histological entities were disclosed and out of them, vascular nephrosclerosis (12%), necrotizing and crescentic glomerulonephritis, IgA nephropathy (IgAN) and amyloidosis (three latter per 10%) represented the most frequent diagnoses. TJRB was combined with liver biopsy in 31 patients (46%) and/or hepatic vein catheterization in 22 patients (33%) confirming portal hypertension in 8. The clinically significant liver histology was found in 20 patients, of them cirrhosis/fibrosis in 8, chronic hepatitis in 4 and steatosis in 5. Among those 20 patients, IgAN was disclosed as the most common renal diagnosis (6). Clinically symptomatic complications were recorded in 12 cases (18%) but 9 of them suffered from clotting disorders. Complications included development of subcapsular hematoma in 6 cases, macroscopic hematuria in 4 cases, and hypovolemic hemorrhagic shock in 2. One patient had to undergo surgical treatment. Dividing the patients into a subgroup with or without clotting disorders, the complication rate was 34 vs. 7%.

Conclusions: TJRB is a new diagnostic method, which, looking at its indications, facilitates the diagnosis of glomerulopathies in patients who could not be considered for percutaneous renal biopsy, particularly due to clotting disorders. The technical aspect of this procedure plays a fundamental role in the final risk/benefit ratio but if done correctly it involves acceptable risk and is well tolerated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy / adverse effects
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / complications
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis / complications
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Jugular Veins
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies