Interpretation of a biopsy is vital in kidney pathology when assessing the suitability of a donor organ. We take a look at why it is so important, and how telepathology can help.
More than 100,000 people in the US are waiting for a kidney transplant at any given time.
It’s a case of life and death for each patient. Kidney pathology needs close monitoring, ensuring the best possible prognosis.
There are just over 12,000 renal transplantations conducted every year. Each kidney needs screening to ensure it’s the best match for the patient.
Telepathology helps medical teams match the best donor organ to the best candidate. It means a greater percentage of people waiting for a kidney will get the right match. It means more lives saved.
Keep reading to learn about the importance of biopsy interpretation in transplantation kidney pathology.
Find out what role telepathology can play in saving patients lives.
What is a Biopsy?
A biopsy is a medical procedure removing small tissue samples from the organ. This is to examine its pathology. The samples are then carefully evaluated with specialized microscopes.
The tissue sample’s extracted in one of two ways:
Percutaneous FN Biopsy
This is the least invasive form of biopsy.
The doctor gives the patient something to relax and numb the area before making a small incision. Through the incision, with the direction of ultrasound, a thin needle’s inserted into the kidney. This needle removes the small tissue sample.
This procedure reduces risks of an open biopsy. It’s standard procedure whenever viable to do so.
An open biopsy has more risk of infection and other complications. There may be times that an open biopsy is necessary.
An anesthetic’s administered to allow the patient to sleep through the procedure. An incision’s made giving the physician access to the kidney tissue needed. Stitches will close the incision.
When Is a Kidney Biopsy Needed?
There are many reasons to perform a kidney biopsy in transplantation cases.
A transplantation kidney biopsy can help pre-screen the right match. It can also assist in determining abnormal kidney pathology before and after transplantation.
In fact, renal biopsies are the gold standard procedure. They have resulted in a change of treatment or direction in care for almost 40% of patients. Meaning it helps doctors give their patients the best treatment plan possible.
Kidney pathology can be best determined with biopsies at every stage of the care plan.
It’s an important tool for monitoring if the recipient is rejecting the kidney post-transplantation. Its greatest value may be before the procedure ever takes place.
It’s crucial to perform a pre-screening biopsy of the potential donor kidney. This helps ensure the donor organ’s best matched for the recipient.
There are several reasons why this is important.
The Importance of Biopsy Interpretation in Transplantation Kidney Pathology
The best prognosis occurs when there’s detailed interpretation using all appropriate diagnostic tools.
This can more accurately assess kidney pathology right from the beginning of care.
A pre-transplant renal biopsy:
- helps judge the quality of a deceased donor kidney
- Excludes the possibility of disease and confirm compatibility of live donors
- Records a baseline that is valuable to help interpret subsequent biopsy results
A biopsy is not the only consideration in finding a match. It lets doctors make informed and educated decisions. Providing better care for the patient.
Other considerations when determining a donor-recipient match include:
- age, overall health, and body size
- biopsy, blood test, and diagnostic screening results
- a possibility of a better match
Transplantation kidney biopsies help reduce the number of discarded organs.
Almost 30% of kidneys from deceased donors end up discarded by transplant teams in the US. This is because the biopsy interpretation on prescreening tests needs refining.
Telepathology is Saving Lives and Organ Donations
Telepathology has the potential to save more lives, make better matches and produce better outcomes in kidney transplantation.
What is Telepathology?
Telepathology is the best of medicine and technology coming together. It allows teams to provide care more efficiently and accurately.
It successfully saves lives by making information available and enables collaboration of healthcare teams from any distance.
98% of pathologists agree telepathology and digital pathology are essential in patient diagnosis and care.
The science of Pathology is very visual in nature and benefits greatly from the ability to view 3D images, and other biomedical informatics.
It opens up options and medical possibilities once only dreamed of in the field of transplantation.
Telepathology is Essential in Transplantation Kidney Pathology
Often when trying to assess the viability of a donor’s kidney to a recipient, the medical teams making the decisions are on opposites sides of the continent.
They need to share information and interpret everything they receive to make the right decision for the patient. Time is of the essence when dealing with someone’s life.
Telepathology allows each team to have the exact same level of detail on scans, biopsy results and other tests with 3D imaging, simulations, and other data.
Telepathology Leads to Better Success
Its easier for pathologists and transplant teams to make more informed and more suitable matches with the benefit of telepathology technology.
A better match means a less likely chance of serious complications such as the recipient’s body rejecting the kidney.
Telepathology: The Wave of the Future
Telepathology makes it possible for medical teams to diagnose, collaborate, and treat with speed and precision.
The knowledge of experts from around the world can be available from anywhere at the touch of a button and help with even the most complex kidney pathology cases.