The effect on patient management of temporary non-availability of immunofluorescence for renal biopsy reporting

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Delay in reporting the immunofluorescence findings on renal biopsies, owing to an interruption in supply of reagents, made possible a retrospective analysis of the effect of the lack of this information on patient management.Hospital case records of the 39 patients so affected were reviewed to determine what changes in their management took place after the immunofluorescence findings became available. The clinical, laboratory, and light microscopic findings in all except a case of pauci-immune crescentic glomerulonephritis allowed management decisions to be made that were not influenced by immunofluorescence findings. This was owing to correct prediction of the immunofluorescence findings, as in cases of IgA nephropathy presenting with recurrent haematuria; the adequacy of light microscopy in the interpretation of graft biopsies, in classifying lupus nephritis and in most cases of nephrotic syndrome; and the absence of entities identifiable only by immunofluorescence among these patients.

(J Clin Pathol 1998;51:337-339)

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