Frequency of renal diseases and clinical indications for renal biopsy in children (report of the Italian National Registry of Renal Biopsies in Children). Group of Renal Immunopathology of the Italian Society of Pediatric Nephrology and Group of Renal Immunopathology of the Italian Society of Nephrology

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1998 Feb;13(2):293-7. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.ndt.a027821.


Background: Children's renal biopsy data were gathered for 3 consecutive years (1992-1994) by the Group of Renal Immunopathology of the Italian Society of Pediatric Nephrology, which opened a paediatric section of the Italian Registry of Renal Biopsies.

Materials: The Registry recorded the histological diagnosis and the clinical data at renal biopsy of 432 children < or = 15 years old (mean age 8.96 +/- 3.7 years).

Results: The most common glomerulonephritis (GN) at renal biopsy was idiopathic IgAGN (18.8%) and the most frequent secondary GN was Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) nephritis (11.6%). Minimal-change disease (MCD) accounted for 11.6%, focal and segmental sclerosis (FSG) 8.5%, mesangial proliferative GN (MPGN) 9.5%, membranoproliferative GN 5.5%, and thin-membrane disease 5%. Lupus nephritis was diagnosed in 5% and Alport's GN in 3.9% of the cases. The annual incidence of primary GN in Italian children was 11.1 cases per million children population (p.m.c.p.), IgAN accounting for 3.1 cases, MCD 2.3, and HSP nephritis 1.9 cases p.m.c.p. respectively. Italian children underwent renal biopsy because of isolated microscopic haematuria in 19.3% of the cases, non-nephrotic proteinuria with or without microscopic haematuria in 31.2%, and nephrotic-range proteinuria in 34.2%, less frequently (15.3%) because of acute or chronic renal failure. Children with persistent isolated microscopic haematuria had most frequently IgAN (34.9%) or thin-membrane disease (25.3%), while those with non-nephrotic proteinuria had IgAN (30.4%) and HSP nephritis (23%). In cases with nephrotic proteinuria renal biopsy showed MCD in 34.5% of the cases, FSG in 16.9%, and MPGN in 12.2%. When renal biopsy was performed in chronic renal failure, chronic interstitial renal disease was detected in 62.5% of the cases.

Conclusions: This National Registry provides data on the indications for performing renal biopsy in Italian children and on the frequency and annual incidence of histological lesions detected. IgAN, primary or related to HSP, was the most common nephritis in Italian children undergoing renal biopsy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Italy
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Registries