Trends and outcomes of the use of percutaneous native kidney biopsy in the United States: 5-year data analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample

Clin Kidney J. 2018 Jun;11(3):330-336. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfx102. Epub 2017 Oct 23.


Background: Despite an inordinate share of health care resources being utilized by patients with kidney disease, morbidity and mortality in these patients remain high. Although renal biopsy is an intervention to identify potential treatment-modifiable causes of disease, large-scale data studying the safety and outcomes of percutaneous native kidney biopsy in hospitalized patients are lacking.

Methods: We queried the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database from 2008 to 2012 and identified all hospital admissions during which a percutaneous renal biopsy was performed. Patients <18 years of age or with a transplanted kidney were excluded. Data regarding associated renal pathology and procedure-related complications were collected and analyzed. Outcomes studied were length of stay, mortality and cost adjusted for inflation.

Results: A total of 118 064 hospital admissions were included in our analysis. The most common complications reported after percutaneous kidney biopsy were packed red blood cell transfusion (261/1000 cases), hematuria (129/1000 cases) and bleeding (78/1000 cases). Patients had an overall mortality of 1.8%. The mean length of stay for each hospitalization was 10.65 days, with a significant difference between elective and nonelective admissions (6.3 versus 11.7; P < 0.01). The average cost per hospitalization was US$22 917 after adjusting for inflation, again with a significant difference between elective and nonelective admissions (15 168 versus 24 780; P < 0.01).

Conclusion: Overall, percutaneous renal biopsy is considered a safe procedure; however, our study based on a national database demonstrates a relatively higher complication rate as compared with the limited prior available studies.

Keywords: Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS); acute kidney injury; chronic kidney disease; kidney biopsy; kidney failure.