Renal Vein Thrombosis – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is renal vein thrombosis?
Renal vein thrombosis (RVT) is a blood clot that forms in the vein that drains blood from the kidneys. RVT can develop in one or both kidneys. RVT results in acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease. Renal vein thrombosis is a rare disorder.
What causes renal vein thrombosis?
Nephrotic syndrome is the most common cause of RVT in adults. Dehydration is the most common cause in infants.
The following are the common causes of renal vein thrombosis:
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Hypercoagulability disorder (clotting disorders)
- Renal tumors
- Scar formation with pressure on the renal vein
- Trauma to the back or abdomen
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm
- Dehydration (mostly in infants)
- Estrogen use
What are the symptoms of renal vein thrombosis?
The following are the common symptoms of RVT:
- Blood clot in the lung
- Bloody urine
- Decreased urine output
- Enlarged kidneys
- Flank pain or low back pain
How is renal vein thrombosis diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and review your symptoms. The exam may not reveal renal vein thrombosis specifically, but it may indicate nephrotic syndrome or other causes of it.
The doctor may order the following tests:
- Abdominal MRI
- Abdominal CT scan
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Duplex Doppler exam of the renal veins
- Venography (x-ray of the kidney veins)
- Urinalysis (to check protein or red blood cells in the urine)
How is renal vein thrombosis treated?
The treatment primarily aims to prevent the formation of new clots and reduce the risk of the clot traveling to other locations in the body.
Your doctor may give anticoagulant medicines to prevent blood clotting. The doctor may ask you to take bed rest and cut down on activity for a short time.
The doctor may recommend dialysis for a short period if sudden kidney failure develops.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.