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Increasing Incidence of Inadequate Kidney Biopsy Samples Over Time

By Dr. Rebecca May

Feb 16, 2022

A renal biopsy is an invasive procedure requiring sedation that is often necessary for appropriate patient treatment. A biopsy is “inadequate” when a complete diagnosis cannot be rendered, usually due to the lack of sufficient renal cortex within the biopsy. Over a 16 year period, a total of 123,372 native renal biopsies were received at Arkana Laboratories. The rate of inadequate kidney biopsies increased from approximately 2% in 2005 to 14% in 2020. In 2005, only 5% of biopsies were performed by radiology. This increased to 95% performed by radiology in 2018. The rate of inadequate biopsies increased over time for both radiology and nephrology but was much higher for radiology. This correlates with the diameter of needles used by radiology (18g/20g) vs nephrology (14g/16g). The rate of deep misses, where the biopsy is predominately medulla, is higher in radiology performed biopsies. We have many resources available at Arkana Labs if your institution is struggling with inadequate biopsies. If your renal biopsies are read at Arkana Labs, we can pull the miss rate for your hospital and also offer training programs incorporating different tools to assess adequacy in real-time.


Read the paper: Increasing Incidence of Inadequate Kidney Biopsy Samples Over Time: A 16-Year Retrospective Analysis From a Large National Renal Biopsy Laboratory


Quick note: This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical or health advice. Each person should consult their own doctor with respect to matters referenced. Arkana Laboratories assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.