Isolated hematuria in children: indications for a renal biopsy

Kidney Int. 1984 Jan;25(1):94-9. doi: 10.1038/ki.1984.13.


Previous reviews of hematuria in children and adolescents have included patients with proteinuria and other renal functional abnormalities such as hypertension and reduced GFR. We report the clinico-pathological correlations in 76 pediatric patients, aged 3 to 19 years, who underwent a renal biopsy because of isolated hematuria during the 10-year period, 1972 to 1981. All specimens were examined by light and electron microscopy and immunofluorescence techniques. The overall prevalence of abnormal renal histology was 56%. The vast majority (41 of 43) of the abnormal biopsy specimens could be classified into four distinct histological categories: (1) Alport syndrome (N = 9); (2) IgA nephropathy (N = 8); (3) thinning of the glomerular basement membrane (N = 17); (4) vascular C3 staining (N = 7). The children were divided into three clinical subgroups (1) isolated microscopic hematuria ( IMH ), N = 42; (2) IMH plus a family history of hematuria in a first degree relative, N = 15; and (3) IMH plus at least one episode of gross hematuria, N = 19. A significant graded increase in the likelihood of obtaining an abnormal renal biopsy was demonstrated (X2 = 10, P less than 0.007) from groups one to three. Sex, age at onset, or duration of hematuria were not associated with an increased proportion of histopathologic abnormalities. These findings indicate that the yield of a renal biopsy in children with isolated hematuria can be predicted accurately from specific clinical characteristics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Glomerulonephritis / complications
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology
  • Hematuria / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Nephritis / complications*
  • Nephritis / pathology
  • Nephritis, Hereditary / complications
  • Nephritis, Hereditary / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies