Renal biopsy and pathologic evaluation of glomerular disease. Academic Article uri icon


  • Presence of suspected primary glomerular disease is the most common and compelling reason to consider renal biopsy. Pathologic findings in samples from animals with nephritic or nephrotic glomerulopathies, as well as from animals with persistent subclinical glomerular proteinuria that is not associated with advanced chronic kidney disease, frequently guide treatment decisions and inform prognosis when suitable specimens are obtained and examined appropriately. Ultrasound-guided needle biopsy techniques generally are satisfactory; however, other methods of locating or approaching the kidney, such as manual palpation (e.g., in cats), laparoscopy, or open surgery, also can be used. Visual assessment of the tissue content of needle biopsy samples to verify that they are renal cortex (i.e., contain glomeruli) as they are obtained is a key step that minimizes the submission of uninformative samples for examination. Adequate planning for a renal biopsy also requires prior procurement of the fixatives and preservatives needed to process and submit samples that will be suitable for electron microscopic examination and immunostaining, as well as for light microscopic evaluation. Finally, to be optimally informative, renal biopsy specimens must be processed by laboratories that routinely perform the required specialized examinations and then be evaluated by experienced veterinary nephropathologists. The pathologic findings must be carefully integrated with one another and with information derived from the clinical investigation of the patient's illness to formulate the correct diagnosis and most informative guidance for therapeutic management of the animal's glomerular disease.

published proceedings

  • Top Companion Anim Med

author list (cited authors)

  • Lees, G. E., Cianciolo, R. E., & Clubb, F. J.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Lees, George E||Cianciolo, Rachel E||Clubb, Fred J

publication date

  • January 2011