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The Kidney Care Clinic

Diagnostic Testing

In addition to reviewing blood work, patients may need other diagnostic tests to determine the cause and severity of their kidneys. Some diagnostic tests may include an ultrasound and renal biopsy.


An ultrasound is a form of diagnostic imaging that allows a health care professional to examine structures within the body. People living with chronic kidney disease may require a renal ultrasound. A renal ultrasound is helpful in viewing the size of the kidneys and detection of masses or tumors. It is also useful to determine if any obstructions are within the kidney that may be causing further impairment. The advantages of conducting an ultrasound may be helpful in diagnosing patients who experience a sudden decline in kidney function.

Renal Biopsy A biopsy is a medical procedure that involves removing a sample of tissue from the body. In renal biopsies, one or more small pieces of the kidney tissue are removed to be examined with special microscopes. It is a helpful procedure that determines the cause of abnormal changes happening within the kidney.  Some patients may require a renal biopsy, if they experience blood in the urine (hematuria) or protein in the urine (proteinuria). Biopsies are helpful in examining the kidneys when patients experience acute or chronic kidney disease with no clear cause. In cases involving a sudden decline in function, a biopsy can be used to determine the presence and extent of the disease. Transplant patients may also require this procedure if their new kidneys are not functioning well in their body.