In general, percutaneous kidney biopsy is a safe procedure. Possible risks include:

  • Bleeding. The most common complication of kidney biopsy is blood in the urine (hematuria). The bleeding usually stops within a few days. Bleeding that's serious enough to require a blood transfusion affects a very small percentage of people who have a kidney biopsy. Rarely, surgery is needed to control bleeding.
  • Pain. Pain at the biopsy site is common after a kidney biopsy, but it usually lasts only a few hours.
  • Arteriovenous fistula. If the biopsy needle accidentally damages the walls of a nearby artery and vein, an abnormal connection (fistula) can form between the two blood vessels. This type of fistula usually causes no symptoms and closes on its own.
  • Others. Rarely, a collection of blood (hematoma) around the kidney becomes infected. This complication is treated with antibiotics and surgical drainage. Another uncommon risk is development of high blood pressure related to a large hematoma.
Jun. 19, 2012