Kidney biopsy in the elderly: diagnostic adequacy and yield

Helvacı Ö., Korucu B., Gonul I. İ., Arınsoy T., GÜZ G., DERİCİ Ü.

International Urology and Nephrology, vol.53, no.1, pp.105-109, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11255-020-02640-6
  • Journal Name: International Urology and Nephrology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, Gender Studies Database, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.105-109
  • Keywords: Elderly, Geriatric nephrology, Kidney biopsy
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: No


Purpose: The number of kidney biopsies (KB) performed in elderly patients has been increasing. Safety and usefulness of elderly KB have been well established, whereas much less is known about diagnostic adequacy and yield in this patient population. Methods: We performed a retrospective study of KBs in 428 patients from April 2015 to December 2017 at an academic institution. We compared KB from 50 patients aged over 64 (elderly) with KB from 378 patients aged between 18 and 64. Results: Gender ratio, body mass index, systolic and diastolic BP, creatinine values, incidences of AKI at the time of biopsy, INR/aptt values, and platelets were similar between the two groups. eGFR and number of transplant biopsies were lower in the elderly biopsy group. The glomerular yield was similar between the two groups (22 ± 14 vs. 22 ± 13, p = 0.869). The likelihood of obtaining more than ten glomeruli was 87% and 88%, respectively, without a significant difference. Inadequate samples were encountered in 6% of the elderly and 5.6% of the non-elderly KB, again without a significant difference. Samples taken by nephrologist had higher glomerular yield for both groups (25 ± 13 vs. 18 ± 12 overall, 26 ± 14 vs. 18 ± 14 for elderly, p < 0.001 both). Inadequate biopsies were lower in the nephrologist group when all patients were considered (3% vs. 9%, p = 0.025). Results were numerically similar for the elderly patients, but the difference was not statistically significant (2% vs. 8%, p = 0.322). No deaths occurred in both arms. Minor complications were not different for each group (4.5% vs. 4%). There were no major complications in elderly patients. However, the difference did not reach statistical significance. Conclusion: The world is aging, leading to an increased number of KB in older patients. KB in the elderly is a safe, effective, and an indispensable tool for the nephrologist. This study suggests there is no need to fear lower diagnostic adequacy in the decision making of a KB for an elderly patient.