Frequently Asked Questions
What does the KPMP hope to do?
What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)?
What is acute kidney injury (AKI)?
What is a kidney biopsy?
In the KPMP, scientists will use the kidney biopsies to find new information about the mechanisms leading to acute and chronic kidney diseases. These studies will help doctors know the best way to treat a person’s kidney disease. The knowledge from this research will help answer important questions for people with kidney disease, such as:
- What type of kidney disease do I have?
- What will happen to me?
- What can I do about it?
What are the benefits and risks of a kidney biopsy?
The kidney biopsy shows kidney injury. From a biopsy, the type of injury can be determined, as well as how extensive the injury is and whether the injury is likely to get better or continue to progress. The kidney biopsy will also help KPMP scientists create new tests to understand kidney disease. The tests will dive deeply into kidney cells, and spaces in-between cells, to create a “map” of the kidney. This map will help scientists find new genes, gene products, proteins, metabolic products, and other clues that will indicate how the kidney got injured and what may be done to repair the injury.
Because a kidney biopsy involves putting a needle into the organ which cleans the blood, the most common complication is bleeding. Based on data published in the scientific literature, the overall rate of any bleeding complication is 12.5% or about 1 out of every 8 kidney biopsies. Most often, this is having blood visible in the urine (occurs in 1 out of every 25 kidney biopsies) or developing a swelling of blood (a bruise) next to the kidney (occurs in 1 out of every 10 kidney biopsies). Sometimes, people need a blood transfusion after kidney biopsy because of the bleeding (occurs in less than 1 out of every 50 kidney biopsies). Rarely, people need a procedure to stop bleeding (occurs in about 1 out of every 140 kidney biopsies). After a biopsy, people are asked to rest for a few hours and are monitored closely for any bleeding complications.
Infection is very rare after a kidney biopsy. Less than one out of every 200 people get an infection from a kidney biopsy. To treat infections, doctors typically prescribe medicines called antibiotics to fight the bacteria that are causing the infection.
Death related to kidney biopsy is exceedingly rare, but has been estimated to occur in 1 out of every 2,500 kidney biopsies.