Learn About Renal Vein Thrombosis

What is the definition of Renal Vein Thrombosis?

Renal vein thrombosis is a blood clot that develops in the vein that drains blood from the kidney.

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What are the alternative names for Renal Vein Thrombosis?

Blood clot in the renal vein; Occlusion - renal vein

What are the causes of Renal Vein Thrombosis?

Renal vein thrombosis is an uncommon disorder. It may be caused by:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Hypercoagulable state: clotting disorders
  • Dehydration (mostly in infants)
  • Estrogen use
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Scar formation with pressure on the renal vein
  • Trauma (to the back or abdomen)
  • Tumor

In adults, the most common cause is nephrotic syndrome. In infants, the most common cause is dehydration.

What are the symptoms of Renal Vein Thrombosis?

Symptoms may include:

  • Blood clot to the lung
  • Bloody urine
  • Decreased urine output
  • Flank pain or low back pain
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What are the current treatments for Renal Vein Thrombosis?

The treatment helps to prevent the formation of new clots and reduces the risk of clot traveling to other locations in the body (embolization).

You may get medicines that prevent blood clotting (anticoagulants). You may be told to rest in bed or cut down on activity for a short time.

If sudden kidney failure develops, you may need dialysis for a short period.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Renal Vein Thrombosis?

Renal vein thrombosis most often gets better over time without lasting damage to the kidneys.

What are the possible complications of Renal Vein Thrombosis?

Complications may include:

  • Acute renal failure (especially if thrombosis occurs in a dehydrated child)
  • End stage renal disease
  • Blood clot moves to the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
  • Formation of new blood clots
When should I contact a medical professional for Renal Vein Thrombosis?

Contact your health care provider if you have symptoms of renal vein thrombosis.

If you have experienced renal vein thrombosis, call your provider if you have:

  • Decrease in urine output
  • Blood in the urine
  • Breathing problems
  • Other new symptoms
How do I prevent Renal Vein Thrombosis?

In most cases, there is no specific way to prevent renal vein thrombosis. Keeping enough fluids in the body may help reduce risk.

Aspirin is sometimes used to prevent renal vein thrombosis in people who have had a kidney transplant. Blood thinners such as warfarin may be recommended for some people with chronic kidney disease.

Kidney anatomy
Kidney - blood and urine flow
What are the latest Renal Vein Thrombosis Clinical Trials?
Thrombin Generation Assay to Assess Thrombotic Risk and the Evolution of the Hypercoagulability Profile of Patients With Nephrotic Syndrome

Summary: The thromboembolic risk is increased during the nephrotic syndrome (NS) with an incidence of deep vein thrombosis 15%, pulmonary embolism of 10-30% and renal vein thrombosis of 25-37%. There is a hemostatic imbalance with urinary leakage of anticoagulant factors and increased hepatic synthesis of procoagulant factors, platelet hyperaggregability and a decrease in fibrinolytic activity. However, th...

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International Registry on the Use of the Direct Oral Anticoagulants for the Treatment of Unusual Site Venous Thromboembolism

Summary: Unusual site venous thromboembolism (VTE) refers to thrombosis occurring in venous districts outside the veins of the lower extremities and the pulmonary arteries, and includes splanchnic vein thrombosis (SVT), cerebral vein thrombosis (CVT), retinal vein thrombosis, ovarian vein thrombosis, and renal vein thrombosis. The use of the novel direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC), thrombin or factor Xa-in...

What are the Latest Advances for Renal Vein Thrombosis?
Feasibility of single position laparoscopic radical nephrectomy and tumor thrombectomy for left renal cell carcinoma with high-risk Mayo grade 0 and 1 tumor thrombus.
Modified vein clamping technique for renal cell carcinoma complicated with level I-II IVC thrombi: a study at a single centre.
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Radical Nephrectomy and Pulmonary Lobectomy for Renal Cell Carcinoma With Tumor Thrombus Extension into the Inferior Vena Cava and Pulmonary Arteries.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: May 04, 2021
Published By: Walead Latif, MD, Nephrologist and Clinical Associate Professor, Rutgers Medical School, Newark, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Augustine J, Wee AC, Krishnamurthi V, Goldfarb DA. Renal insufficiency and ischemic nephropathy. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 87.

DuBose TD, Santos RM. Vascular disorders of the kidney. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 116.

Greco BA, Umanath K. Renovascular hypertension and ischemic nephropathy. In: Feehally J, Floege J, Tonelli M, Johnson RJ, eds. Comprehensive Clinical Nephrology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 41.