Is the Art of Renal Biopsy on the Decline in Nigeria?

  • CO Okani
  • UE Ekrikpo
  • CA Okolo
  • AO Asinobi
  • BL Salako
  • EEU Akang
Keywords: Kidney, Biopsy, Histology, Trend test, UCH Ibadan.


Background: Renal biopsy remains the means by which definitive parenchymal kidney disease diagnoses are made. With the renal biopsy, the activity, progression and prognosis of renal parenchymal diseases can be studied with objectivity. We investigated the trend of renal histopathology request in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria over 31 years.
Objective: To determine the trend of renal biopsy requests in one of the biggest tertiary hospitals in Nigeria over a 31-year period (1981- 2011).
Methods: We retrospectively analysed all the renal biopsies submitted to the Department of Pathology, University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, South-West Nigeria over a 30 year period (1981-2011). Trend of requests of all the biopsies submitted from the Surgery, Paediatrics and Medicine departments was analysed using a test for linear  trend. Gender and age groups trends were also studied.
Results: A significant reduction in the rates of renal biopsy request over the 31-year period (p=0.001) was noted which is attributed to diminution in requests from the Medicine and Paediatrics Departments (p<0.001), while the rates of requests from Surgery Department remain fairly uniform over this period (p=0.05). Decrease in biopsy requests significantly cuts across the ages in both genders.
Conclusion: Lack of adequately trained manpower, poor health insurance scheme and lack of facilities may be contributory in renal biopsy requests decline. Adequate efforts should be made towards reviving this important investigative modality in Nigerian tertiary hospitals.

Keywords: Kidney, Biopsy, Histology, Trend test, UCH Ibadan.


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eISSN: 1597-1627