A biopsy is a diagnostic test that involves collecting small pieces of tissue, usually through a needle, for examination with a microscope. A kidney biopsy can help in forming a diagnosis and in choosing the best course of treatment.
A kidney biopsy may be recommended for any of the following conditions:
A pathologist will look at the kidney tissue samples to check for unusual deposits, scarring, or infecting organisms that would explain a person’s condition. The doctor may find a condition that can be treated and cured. If a person has progressive kidney failure, the biopsy may show how quickly the disease is advancing. A biopsy can also help explain why a transplanted kidney is not working properly.
Patients should talk with their doctors about what information might be learned from the biopsy and the risks involved so the patients can help make a decision about whether a biopsy is worthwhile.
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