Percutaneous renal biopsy

Semin Nephrol. 2002 May;22(3):254-67. doi: 10.1053/snep.2002.31713.


Percutaneous renal biopsy (PRB) is an integral part of the clinical practice of nephrology. It is essential in the diagnosis of glomerular, vascular, and tubulointerstitial diseases of the kidney, providing information that is invaluable in prognosis and patient management. The use of real-time ultrasound and automated biopsy needles has simplified and improved the success and safety of this procedure. In the recent past, we have seen a shift of the PRB from nephrologists to radiologists and this has raised appropriate concern that loss of this procedure may undermine the nephrologist's status as a subspecialist. We must continue to properly train young nephrologists in the proper technique and value of performing renal biopsy procedures or we stand to lose control of a procedure that was an integral part of the development of our subspecialty.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Needle* / adverse effects
  • Biopsy, Needle* / instrumentation
  • Contraindications
  • Hematuria / etiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Needles
  • Nephrology / education
  • Radiography, Interventional
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional