Laparoscopic renal biopsy

Luis F. Gimenez, Salvatore Micali, Roland N. Chen, Robert G. Moore, Louis R. Kavoussi, Paul J. Scheel

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66 Scopus citations


Background. Renal biopsy continues to be a pivotal tool and frequently indispensable diagnostic procedure in the clinical assessment of proteinuria and or unexplained renal disease. Laparoscopic renal biopsy has recently been reported as an alternative to open renal biopsy. Methods. Thirty-two patients who had proteinuria and/or renal insufficiency underwent laparoscopic renal biopsy at our center. The indications for biopsy included failed percutaneous biopsy (N = 3), morbid obesity (14), solitary kidney (5), chronic anticoagulation/coagulopathy (6), religious consideration (refusal of potential blood transfusion) (2), multiple bilateral renal cysts and body habitus (1 case each). The kidney was approached via a laparoscopic retroperitoneal route (retroperitoneoscopy) using a two port technique. The lower pole of the kidney was localized using blunt dissection, laparoscopic cup biopsies were performed, and hemostasis was achieved using standard techniques. Results. All biopsies were successfully completed laparoscopically with sufficient tissue obtained for histopathological diagnosis in all cases. Mean estimated blood loss was 25.9 ml (range 5 to 100). None of the patients required parenteral narcotics during the perioperative period. Operative time ranged from 0.8 to 3.0 hours (mean 1.5). Mean hospital stay was 1.7 days (range 0 to 7). Sixteen patients were treated as outpatients. Patients returned to normal activity at a mean of 1.7 weeks (range 0.3 to 3.0) postoperatively. In one patient, the spleen was inadvertently biopsied without consequence. An additional patient developed a postoperative 300 cc perinephric hematoma that resolved without the need for intervention. One postoperative mortality occurred on postoperative day seven secondary to a perforated peptic ulcer in a patient undergoing high-dose steroid therapy for lupus nephritis. Conclusion. Laparoscopic renal biopsy is a safe, reliable, minimally invasive alternative to open renal biopsy for patients in whom a closed percutaneous approach is either a relative or absolute contraindication, which can be performed on an outpatient basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-529
Number of pages5
JournalKidney International
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Closed percutaneous biopsy
  • Complications of biopsy
  • Diagnostic procedure
  • Retroperitoneal biopsy approach
  • Transperitoneal biopsy approach


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