Medical Specialty >> Nephrology

Doctors Lounge - Nephrology Answers

Back to Nephrology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/09/2017.

Forum Name: Glomerulonephritis

Question: question about kidney tests

 angelforever34 - Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:35 am

Can a renal biopsy be performed during a retrograde pyelogram? And are there any other tests less evasive that can diagnose nephritis?
 R. Zein, Pharm D - Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:07 pm

User avatar A renal biopsy is a means to obtain a sample of the kidney tissue. The sample is then examined in the laboratory.
This test is done in the hospital, usually in the radiology suite in ultrasound. You will be expected to follow the instructions given during the test. You will be lying face down on a firm surface. Firm pillows or a rolled towel may be placed beneath the abdominal area to give support.

The kidney is located under ultrasound, and then the health care provider will mark the biopsy site (usually the right side). A local anesthetic will be given to numb the skin at the biopsy site. A tiny incision is then made in the skin.

You will be asked to take a deep breath, hold it, and remain still as the locating needle (a needle that is used to locate the proper location in the kidney) is inserted through the incision and into the kidney under ultrasound guidance. You will then be asked to take several deep breaths to help verify the position of the needle.

The locating needle depth is measured and then removed. The biopsy needle is inserted following the path of the locating needle. Again, the position of the needle will be verified. The sample is taken, and the needle is removed. Pressure is applied to the biopsy site to stop the bleeding, and a bandage is applied. You will remain in the hospital after the test and lie on your back for 12 to 24 hours.

Retrograde PyelogramA cystoscopy (i.e., a procedure in which a telescopic instrument is inserted into the urethra) is performed to locate the opening from the ureter to the bladder. The contrast agent is injected directly into this opening and an x-ray is taken to locate the kidney stone.

This procedure eliminates the risk for an allergic reaction to the contrast agent because the dye does not reach the bloodstream, but it may require anesthesia. While retrograde pyelogram is the most reliable method for visualizing the urinary system and detecting stones, it is generally used only when other imaging methods are inadequate or unsuccessful.

overall it is ok to have both proceedures at the same time, those are the gold standard for the diagnosis of nephritis.
 angelforever34 - Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:28 pm

Is a renal scan very good about detecting uncomplicated Nephritis. A biopsy just sounds too invasive. (Thanks!)

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us