Background: Although percutaneous renal biopsy remains an essential tool in the diagnosis and treatment of renal diseases, in recent times the traditional procedure of nephrologists has been performed by non-nephrologists rather than nephrologists at many institutions. The present study assessed the safety and adequacy of tissue yield during percutaneous renal biopsy according to practitioners and techniques based on ultrasound.
Methods: This study included 658 native renal biopsies performed from 2005 to 2010 at a single centre. The biopsies were performed by nephrologists or expert ultrasound radiologists using the ultrasound-marked blind or real-time ultrasound-guided techniques.
Results: A total of 271 ultrasound-marked blind biopsies were performed by nephrologists, 170 real-time ultrasound-guided biopsies were performed by nephrologists, and 217 real-time ultrasound-guided biopsies were performed by radiologists during the study period. No differences in post-biopsy complications such as haematoma, need for transfusion and intervention, gross haematuria, pain, or infection were observed among groups. Glomerular numbers of renal specimens from biopsies performed by nephrologists without reference to any technique were higher than those obtained from real-time ultrasound-guided biopsies performed by expert ultrasound radiologists.
Conclusions: Percutaneous renal biopsy performed by nephrologists was not inferior to that performed by expert ultrasound radiologists as related to specimen yield and post-biopsy complications.