Percutaneous needle biopsy of the kidney may be associated with a number of complications. The patient should be made aware of the relative risks as part of informed consent prior to the procedure.


Hemorrhagic complications:

(1) gross hematuria

(2) perinephric hematoma

(3) adrenal hemorrhage

(4) need for blood transfusion

(5) passage of clots through the urinary tract, with obstruction and/or renal colic


Vascular complications:

(1) traumatic arteriovenous fistula

(2) perforation and/or laceration to renal artery or vein


Infectious complications:

(1) perinephric abscess

(2) renal abscess

(3) cellulitis

(4) sepsis


Traumatic injury (perforation and/or laceration):

(1) liver (right kidney)

(2) spleen (left kidney)

(3) pancreas (left kidney)

(4) gallbladder (right kidney)

(5) colon

(6) lung


Pain (abdominal, flank, and/or renal colic


NOTE: The use of ultrasonography to identify the kidneys has reduced accidental biopsies of other organs.


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