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Are there any risks associated with renal biopsy?

Q: My 27 years old husband has a history of diabetes, hypertension, mild myocardial infarction (MI) and pancreatitis. His routine tests showed serum creatinine level to be 3.2 mg/dl and the levels rose to 4.2 mg/dl after 15 days. We consulted a nephrologist who suggested screening for diabetic retinopathy. The report stated that he has no diabetic retinopathy and has only mild hypertensive changes. The doctor has asked for a renal biopsy to ascertain the cause of his elevated creatinine levels. Are there any risks associated with renal biopsy?

A:Kidney biopsy is the only method by which one could ascertain the actual cause of kidney disease. It is a common procedure performed with minimal risks. Commonest complication happens to be bleeding, mostly transient in nature obvious in the form of change in the colour of urine immediately following the biopsy. It subsides over a period of a day. Close monitoring of haemoglobin pre and post biopsy helps to track any major bleeding episodes. Dialysis is recommended upon loss of greater than 90% of kidney function or much sooner if the patient suffers from some of the symptoms resulting from the accumulated waste toxins in the body, not filtered out by the failing kidneys.


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