Renal Biopsy Service

The Renal Pathology service at UT Health San Antonio provides expert pathology assessment of kidney biopsies.  Our service provides accurate, timely diagnosis of both native and transplant kidney biopsies.  Light microscopy, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy are utilized in each case to arrive at the most precise diagnosis possible.   Consultative opinions are available upon request.

Renal Biopsy Submission

  • Renal Biopsy Supplies

    • 10% neutral buffered formalin specimen vial (Light Microscopy)
    • Phosphate Buffered 4% Formaldehyde – 1% Glutaraldehyde Fixative (4CFIG) (Electron Microscopy)
    • Michel’s Transport media (Immunofluorescence)
    • BioHazard Bag with front pocket and absorbent pad
    • Laboratory Request Form
    • Courier service (local)
    • FedEx (Clinical Pak) envelopes
    • Call or email STRL Client Services to request renal biopsy fixatives

          Phone: 210-567-6599

  • Renal Biopsy Preparation

    • When the specimen is removed from the patient ideally, three-needle core samples are taken.  All 3 samples should include glomeruli.
    • Light Microscopy – Place the sample in 10% Neutral Buffered Formalin.  This should be a majority of the sample.
    • Immunofluorescence – Place the sample in Michel’s Fixative (supplied upon request).
    • Electron Microscopy – Place the sample in Glutaraldehyde Fixative (supplied upon request).  This should ideally be 2-3 mm in length.
    • The patient’s first and last name, a second identifier, site/laterality, and the collection date must be present on all specimen containers.
    • The information on the container must match the requisition.
    • Complete all the information on the UT Health San Antonio Histology Laboratory request form.
    • Send a copy of the patient’s medical history and current relevant lab results.  Be sure to include the name and contact information of the referring physician.


  • Renal Biopsy Transportation

    • Fed Ex packaging guidelines for UN3373 shipments apply to the transport of a renal biopsy to the UT Health San Antonio.  If shipping a renal biopsy, please be aware of all applicable guidelines and regulations. Senders are solely responsible for compliance.  See  and SEARCH 3373 for details.
    • Label containers with “Formaldehyde precaution”.
    • Use a Specimen Transport Bag for the specimen containers with the requisition in the outside pocket of the bag.
    • Place the bagged specimens into a box with adequate absorbent material in case of leakage.
    • Securely seal the shipping container.
    • Indicate on the exterior of the box “Formaldehyde Caution” and/or “Glutaraldehyde Precaution”.
    • Ship at ambient temperature. DO NOT FREEZE.
    • Use OVERNIGHT shipping via Fed Ex or same day Courier service. Laboratory hours are Monday -Friday, 7:30am – 4:30pm. No weekend deliveries.
    • Send to the following address:

UT Health San Antonio
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Histopathology—Room 344B-MED
7703 Floyd Curl Dr.
San Antonio, Texas 78229
Phone #: (210)567-6599