Background: Among the complications in percutaneous renal biopsy, bleeding is the most frequent and sometimes becomes fatal.
Methods: We prospectively studied 394 consecutive percutaneous renal biopsies in 359 patients (male/female = 188/171). The mean age of the patients was 44.0 +/- 17.2 years. Percutaneous renal biopsies were performed on native kidneys under direct visualization by ultrasound, using an automated spring-loaded biopsy device and a 16-cm 18 G needle.
Results: The most common complication was hematoma (n = 149, 37.8%). "De novo macrohematuria" was observed in 29 patients (7.4%). Other complications included pain (n = 27, 6.9%), loss of blood (n = 17, 4.3%), and renal dysfunction (increase of serum creatinine more than 0.2 mg/dl, n = 9, 2.2%). Although there were no severe complications such as loss of blood requiring a blood transfusion, loss of kidney function, or death, 10 patients had an extended rest period in bed because of moderate complications. Hypertension and amyloidosis had significant influence on the complications.
Conclusions: For those who are clinically suspected of having amyloidosis or hypertension, more careful biopsy procedures and observations are necessary.