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A biopsy is done to remove tissue or cells from the body to exam under a microscope. The tissue sample is removed with a needle to check for cancer or other abnormal cells. It also helps check how well the kidney is working. 

There are 2 types of kidney biopsies: 

  • Needle biopsy. After an anesthetic is given, the healthcare provider inserts the biopsy needle into the kidney to get a sample. Most kidney biopsies are done using this technique.
  • Open biopsy. After an anesthetic is given, the healthcare provider makes an incision in the skin and surgically removes a piece of the kidney. 

If your healthcare provider wants to sample a specific area of the kidney, the biopsy may be guided by ultrasound, fluoroscopy, or computed tomography. 

INDICATIONS FOR KIDNEY BIOPSY

There are multiple indications to perform renal biopsy, including the following: 

  • Unexplained renal failure
  • Acute nephritic syndrome
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Isolated nonnephrotic proteinuria
  • Isolated glomerular hematuria
  • Renal masses (primary or secondary)
  • Renal transplant rejection
  • Renal transplant dysfunction
  • Connective-tissue diseases (eg, systemic lupus erythematosus)

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