In general, percutaneous kidney biopsy is a safe procedure. Possible risks include:
May 15, 2015
- Bleeding. The most common complication of a 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.
- Johnson RJ, et al. Renal biopsy. In: Comprehensive Clinical Nephrology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 14, 2015.
- Lager DJ, et al. Renal biopsy interpretation. In: Practical Renal Pathology. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 7, 2015.
- Kidney biopsy. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC). http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/biopsy/index.aspx. Accessed March 7, 2015.
- Whittier WL, et al. Indications for and complications of renal biopsy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 7, 2015.
- Taal MW, et al. The renal biopsy. In: Brenner & Rector's The Kidney. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 14, 2015.
- Kidney biopsy: A guide for patients. National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/sites/default/files/docs/11-10-0106_patbro_renalbiopsy.pdf. Accessed March 7, 2015.
- El-Zoghby ZM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 17, 2015.
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