Risk of percutaneous renal biopsy of native kidneys in the evaluation of acute kidney injury

Clin Kidney J. 2018 Oct;11(5):610-615. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfy048. Epub 2018 Jul 2.


Background: Percutaneous renal biopsy (PRB) of native kidneys (NKs) to better understand and treat acute kidney injury (AKI) is being advocated, but little is known about the risk of complications.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study of PRB of NKs in 955 adults from 1991 to 2015 at an academic medical center with real-time ultrasound and automated biopsy needles. Patients undergoing PRB for evaluation of AKI (n = 160) were compared with 795 patients biopsied for other reasons (not-AKI) for postbiopsy complications [need for transfusion of packed red blood cells (PRBCs), an interventional radiologic or surgical procedure, readmission or death].

Results: Patients biopsied for AKI were older (58 ± 16 versus 44 ± 16 years; P < 0.0001), with a higher serum creatinine (SCr) (4.5 ± 2.7 versus 1.8 ± 1.6 mg/dL; P < 0.0001) and lower hemoglobin (Hgb) (10.4 ± 1.7 versus 12.1 ± 2.1; P < 0.0001) and a greater proportion had an abnormal bleeding time (12.5% versus 7.4%, P 0.04), partial thromboplastin time (15.2% versus 5.3%, P < 0.0001) and/or prothrombin time (27.0% versus 12.8%; P < 0.0001) compared with not-AKI patients. Complications post-PRB were significantly greater in patients biopsied for AKI {11.3% versus 6.7%; P=0.04; odds ratio [OR] 1.78 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-3.12]} with patients biopsied for AKI requiring more blood transfusions (10.0% versus 5.3%; P 0.02; OR 2.04 (95% CI 1.12-3.74)]. By multivariate analysis, baseline features predictive of a complication were increased SCr and decreased Hgb level, as well as female gender and increased systolic blood pressure.

Conclusion: Patients biopsied for evaluation of AKI are at greater risk of complications due to increased risk factors.

Keywords: acute kidney injury; acute renal failure; complications; native kidney; percutaneous renal biopsy.