Effects of serial ultrasound-guided renal biopsies on kidneys of healthy adolescent dogs

Groman RP, Bahr A, Berridge BR, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2004;45:62-69.

Ten healthy mixed-breed dogs were used to evaluate the functional and structural effects of serial ultrasound-guided renal biopsies obtained with an automated biopsy needle. In each dog, one lateral renal cortex was biopsied at 2, 4, and 6 months of age; the other kidney was the control. Five dogs had two tissue cores and five dogs had four tissue cores taken on each biopsy occasion, and one core was examined microscopically. One week before each biopsy and a month after the final biopsy, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was determined by renal scintigraphy. Dogs were then euthanized for evaluation of gross and microscopic lesions attributable to the biopsies. There was no difference between GFR values for biopsied kidneys and those of control kidneys (P > 0.05). Microscopic lesions were not identified in biopsies taken at 2 and 4 months, but focal lesions were found in three of 10 specimens taken at 6 months of age. At necropsy, six of 10 biopsied kidneys had small visible capsular scars, and linear tracts < 2 mm wide were observed on cut surfaces in six of 10 biopsied kidneys cut transversely into slices 5 mm thick. Discrete light microscopic lesions were observed in 25 of 452 (5.5%) of randomly selected 6-mm-diameter sections of renal cortex from biopsied kidneys. We conclude that serial renal cortical biopsies can be obtained by our method from healthy adolescent dogs with minimal risk of inducing changes that might be confused with those of a progressive renal disease.