Integration of genetic and histopathology data in interpretation of kidney disease

Susan L Murray, Neil K Fennelly, Brendan Doyle, Sally Ann Lynch, Peter J Conlon

Published on Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation (NDT)


For many years renal biopsy has been the gold standard for diagnosis in many forms of kidney disease. It provides rapid, accurate and clinically useful information in most individuals with kidney disease. However, in recent years, other diagnostic modalities have become available that may provide more detailed and specific diagnostic information in addition to, or instead of, renal biopsy. Genomics is one of these modalities. Previously prohibitively expensive and time consuming, it is now increasingly available and practical in a clinical setting for the diagnosis of inherited kidney disease. Inherited kidney disease is a significant cause of kidney disease, in both the adult and paediatric populations. While individual inherited kidney diseases are rare, together they represent a significant burden of disease. Because of the heterogenicity of inherited kidney disease, diagnosis and management can be a challenge and often multiple diagnostic modalities are needed to arrive at a diagnosis. We present updates in genomic medicine for renal disease, how genetic testing integrates with our knowledge of renal histopathology and how the two modalities may interact to enhance patient care.

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