Renal biopsy was broadly used for research in some institutions of the former Soviet Union: it was performed in patients with amyloidosis, renovascular hypertension (both kidneys), pyelonephritis and chronic alcoholism. When renal biopsy was performed in accordance with clinical indications, a part of the tissue cylinder was sometimes consumed for scientific purposes. Renal biopsy was performed in clinically inactive or latent glomerulonephritis, isolated proteinuria and/or hematuria. Semithin sections, silver and trichrome stains were not used in the routine, while electron microscopy was applied infrequently. In isolated proteinuria and/or hematuria, histologically are often found only minor glomerular abnormalities: slight mesangial widening and hypercellularity, scarce deposits of immunoglobulins and complement. Under such conditions, this picture can be misinterpreted as glomerulonephritis, which can entail overtreatment. In some studies, patients with the inactive or latent glomerulonephritis, isolated proteinuria or hematuria, were treated with corticosteroids and/or cytotoxic drugs. Today, the upturn in Russian economy enables acquisition of modern equipment; and medical research is on the increase. Under these circumstances, the main purpose of this letter was to remind that, performing renal biopsy, the risk-to-benefit ratio should be kept as low as possible.
Keywords: Alcoholism, amyloidosis, glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis, renal biopsy, renovascular hypertension
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