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Kidney biopsy

biòpsia renal Vall d'Hebron

Kidney biopsy is an essential diagnostic procedure in the field of nephrology.
Kidney disease has a noticeable effect on a patient's general health and can also be detected by the blood and urine tests taken. Imaging tests (renal ultrasound, CT scan and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging) provide information for diagnosing kidney disease, but the essential and indisputable test to be able to reach a diagnosis of kidney disease is a kidney biopsy.

This consists of extracting a very small sample of kidney tissue, just a millimetre or so in size, with a special needle. The needle is guided by ultrasound and under local anaesthetic with or without sedation, depending on the characteristics of the patient.

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General Hospital

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The sample obtained is processed by the Pathological Anatomy Department for observation using optical microscope, fluorescence microscope and electronic microscope techniques. This enables different parts of the kidney to be observed: the glomerulus, the tubule, and the blood vessels. Special liquids can also be used to reveal infections and toxicity produced by different medicines.

This is very useful both for diagnosing disease in the kidneys themselves, as well as a test to monitor a kidney transplant.

Although a kidney biopsy is not without complications worth mentioning, they occur rarely and can be resolved. Urine may contain blood, for example, although this generally stops by itself. Renal haematoma may also occur, which also does not require treatment. Accidental communication between an artery and a vein may also occur, which can be repaired via catheterization to close the anomalous communication.
Kidney biopsy is a common procedure in the Nephrology Department and complications occur in around 1-2% of cases, which are subsequently resolved. It is therefore considered a safe routine procedure.

Related professionals
Sra. Montse
Sevillano Aparicio
Sra. Adela
Amat Huerta
Nursing Supervisor