Renal biopsy is a relatively safe procedure with a well-defined risk profile. A biopsy for research is one that is carried out without clinical indications purely for research purposes. Research biopsies often have a parallel clinical purpose, therefore requiring more tissue to be sampled. Research as a purpose of a renal biopsy presupposes informed consent. This review is discussing several publications from the past, but the problem is still with us: invasive procedures performed primarily for research sometimes of questionable reliability. In the author’s opinion, renal biopsy should always be performed according to clinical indications. If the patient gives consent to research on the renal tissue obtained for the diagnostic purposes, it can be done, provided that enough tissue remains for the diagnostics, and that Institutional Review Committee approves of the research project.
renal biopsy; glomerulonephritis; pyelonephritis; Alport syndrome; alcoholism