Renal biopsy practice in France: results of a nationwide study

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2010 Nov;25(11):3579-85. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfq254. Epub 2010 May 11.


Background: Although several risk factors associated with complications after renal biopsy (RB) have been identified, the gold standard for RB procedures remains to be defined. Practices vary widely among nephrologists, depending on personal experience and the availability of particular techniques. The purpose of our study was to depict the main aspects of the practice of RB in adults in France.

Methods: Members of the Société de Néphrologie in France were asked to participate in a questionnaire survey on RB procedures.

Results: Eighty-eight nephrologists from 74 units (27 in teaching hospitals, 35 in public general hospitals and 12 in private centres) participated in our study. Native kidney and graft biopsies were performed in 73 and 35 units, respectively. RB activity was highly variable among units, ranging from several hundred to <10 per year. Transjugular renal biopsy was judged to be smoothly accessible in 28 out of 73 units (38.4%). Significant variations in practices were observed regarding patient information before RB, assessment of haemorrhagic risk factors, management of patients with antiplatelet agents and haemorrhagic risk factors, and radiological guidance. Early discharge (<12 h) was the rule in 3 (4.1%) units for native kidney biopsies and in 10 (28.6%) units for graft biopsies.

Conclusions: Our study is the first to provide a representative picture of 'everyday' RB practices in a country. Important variations in procedures were observed. Our study may represent a preliminary step for the elaboration of guidelines for all aspects of RB practices.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy* / adverse effects
  • Biopsy* / methods
  • Biopsy* / statistics & numerical data
  • France
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Nephrology
  • Risk Factors