One hundred and thirty-one ultrasound-guided renal biopsies performed in 127 patients with automated spring-loaded biopsy technique were evaluated. Adequate tissue for histologic diagnosis was obtained in 92% of the procedures (94% of the patients). The mean glomerular yield was 16.8 glomeruli. Complications were seen in 21% of the patients, 18% having minor and 3% having major complications. Patients with severe hypertension had significantly more complications than the rest of the patients. The rate of complications in patients who had 3 or 4 biopsy passes was not increased compared to patients who had one or 2 biopsy passes. Thus, this study indicates that the risk of complications and the safety of the procedure is not influenced by increasing the number of biopsy passes in order to obtain representative specimens.