Renal Pathology Laboratory

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The Renal Pathology Laboratory in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic examines more than 500 kidney biopsies per month from nephrologists caring for patients with kidney disease at Mayo Clinic and across the country.

The biopsy tissue and relevant clinical information are sent to the Mayo Clinic Renal Pathology Laboratory through Mayo Medical Laboratories. To completely evaluate the biopsy, a portion is processed for light microscopy, a portion for electron microscopy, and a portion is frozen for evaluation by immunofluorescent histology. Each study is important to fully examine the biopsy for specific types of injury such as antibody-mediated processes, inflammatory processes, and structural abnormalities.

The renal pathologist communicates the preliminary diagnosis, based on the evaluation of the biopsy by light microscopy and immunofluorescent histology, and discusses the findings with the submitting nephrologist the following work day after receipt of the specimen. In most cases, a final report incorporating the electron microscopic findings is issued within 7 to 10 working days. A set of light microscopy slides and representative electron microscopic images (when requested) are returned to the nephrologist or the submitting pathology laboratory.

In instances when a diagnosis is needed urgently to guide therapy, such as in acute renal failure, the biopsy can be processed rapidly and the diagnosis communicated within hours of receipt. A histology technician and a renal pathologist are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for STAT biopsy processing and interpretation.

For more information contact:
M. Fidler, M.D., Medical Director, Renal Pathology Laboratory
S. Hoheisel, HT-ASCP, Supervisor, Renal Pathology Laboratory