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Renal vein thrombosis

Blood clot in the renal vein; Occlusion - renal vein

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Causes

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

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

Definition

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

Exams and Tests

An exam may not reveal the specific problem. However, it may indicate nephrotic syndrome or other causes of renal vein thrombosis.

Tests include:

Outlook (Prognosis)

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

Possible Complications

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

Prevention

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.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

Treatment

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.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call 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:

Review Date: 4/14/2017
Reviewed 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.

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