What is it about?

We looked at 242 patients who had undergone needle biopsy of the kidney with the help of ultrasound. We confirmed something that had probably been known for many years: that aiming the needle at the upper or lower ends of the kidney is safer as it avoids the big blood vessels but it also provides a better specimen. We also uncovered another important, seemingly minor detail: angling the needle at between 50 to 70° to the surface of the kidney also yielded the safest results, and the best specimens to allow the pathologist to have the best chance possible to clinch a diagnosis.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

These may seem like minor details, but our study suggests that paying attention to these minor details will lead to safer outcomes and better biopsies for our patients undergoing needle kidney biopsies.


We decided to look at this question of needle kidney biopsy technical factors after a patient had a serious bleed following a biopsy. By making these small changes in technique, our radiologists have seen a marked reduction in the number of complications, as well as a reduction in the number of biopsies that have to be repeated because the specimen is inadequate.

Mike Moser
University of Saskatchewan

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Direction of the Biopsy Needle in Ultrasound-Guided Renal Biopsy Impacts Specimen Adequacy and Risk of Bleeding, Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal, November 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1016/j.carj.2018.11.006.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page