Néphrologie & Thérapeutique


Kidney biopsy in subsaharan Africa Volume 19, issue 2, April 2023


  • Figure 1

  • Figure 2


1 CHU de Bouaké, service d’anatomie et cytologie pathologiques, Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire
2 CHU de Bouaké, service de néphrologie, Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire
3 CHU de Yopougon, service de néphrologie, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
4 CHU de Cocody, service d’anatomie et cytologie pathologiques, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
5 CHU de Treichville, service de néphrologie, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
6 CHU Blaise Compaoré, service de néphrologie, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
7 CHU Donka, service de néphrologie, Conakry, Guinée
8 CHU Sylvanus Olympio, service de néphrologie, Lomé, Togo
9 CHU de Yopougon, service de néphropédiatrie, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Correspondance : KL Adonis

Kidney biopsy (KB) is a significant advance in the management of nephropathies. In sub-Saharan Africa, few studies have been carried out. The objective of our study was to evaluate the indication, to determine the epidemiological and histological characteristics of the nephropathies diagnosed in sub-Saharan Africa.

Materials and methods

We carried out a retrospective and descriptive study on biopsies examined between January 2015 and December 2019, in the pathological departments of University Teaching Hospital of Bouaké and Cocody-Abidjan. The KB came from four countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Guinea-Conakry and Burkina Faso). Optical microscopy and/or direct immunofluorescence techniques were used. All biopsy samples including epidemiological, clinical and pathological data and an optical microscopy and/or direct immunofluorescence study were included. The parameters studied were indications for KB, epidemiological profile, clinic, proteinuria and pathological aspects.


Over the study period, we collected 179 KB, i.e. 35.8 KB/year. The mean age of the patients was 32.9 ±13.8 years (range 11-70 years). The sex ratio (M/F) was 1.03. Pure nephrotic syndrome was the main indication (64.2 %, n = 115) for KB, followed by impure nephrotic syndrome (11.7 %, n = 21), acute renal failure (ARF) (7.8 %, n = 14) and rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis (RPGN) (7.8 %, n = 14). Glomerulonephritis (GN) occurred in 86 % (n = 158), vascular nephropathy in 11.7 % (n = 21) and tubulointerstitial nephritis in 2.2 % (n = 4). The nephropathies were preferentially focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (34.6 %, n = 62), nephroangiosclerosis (10.6 %, n = 19), membranous GN (10 %, n = 18), post-infectious GN (8.9 %, n = 16) and lupus GN (7.3 %, n = 13).


The KB is an essential step in the diagnosis of nephropathies. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis is frequent in our study. The establishment of a Kidney registry would allow better knowledge of renal pathologies in sub-Saharan Africa.