Kidney tissue may show tumors
that were not expected, such as Wilms' tumor (which occurs in early childhood)
and renal cell cancer (which is most common after age 40).
Kidney tissue shows signs of transplant reactions, rejection, or failure.
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
Having an untreated bleeding or blood clotting disorder.
Not being able to lie still.
Having advanced kidney disease, uncontrolled
high blood pressure, or only one kidney.
Having a severely deformed spine.
urinary tract infection.
What To Think About
A kidney biopsy is done after other tests for kidney disease
(such as blood and urine tests,
ultrasound, and a
CT scan) have not been able to tell what kind of
kidney problem is present. A kidney biopsy has more risk for problems than
these other tests and a chance of
false-negative results. More than one biopsy may be
Open kidney biopsy and ureteroscopy are two other methods that
may be used to take kidney tissue samples. You will stay overnight in the
hospital for these biopsies.
An open kidney biopsy is a surgery done in an operating room
while you are asleep (general anesthesia). A cut (incision) is made through the back or the side and a
small piece of kidney tissue is taken out. Open biopsy is often done when the doctor needs to remove a larger piece of tissue (such as a tumor).
Ureteroscopy with biopsy is often done if there is a mass in
the renal pelvis or ureter. Ureteroscopy is a surgery done in an operating room
under spinal or general anesthesia. A long thin flexible tube (ureteroscope) is
used to look inside the ureter and lower part of the kidney (renal pelvis).
Once the mass is found, a biopsy is done through the ureteroscope.