Renal vein thrombosis
Renal vein thrombosis is a blood clot that develops in the vein that drains blood from the kidney.
Clot in the renal vein; Occlusion - renal vein
Renal vein thrombosis is a fairly uncommon situation that may happen after trauma to the abdomen or back, or it may occur due to:
- Scar formation
It may be associated with nephrotic syndrome.
Exams and Tests
An examination may not reveal the specific problem, but may indicate nephrotic syndrome or other causes of renal vein thrombosis.
- Abdominal CT scan, abdominal MRI, or abdominal ultrasound may show obstruction of the renal vein
- Urinalysis may show large quantities of protein in the urine, or red blood cells in the urine
- X-ray of the kidney veins (venography) may show renal vein thrombosis.
The treatment is focused on preventing new clot formations and reducing the risk of the clot traveling to other locations in the body (embolization).
You may get medications that prevent blood clotting (anticoagulants) to stop new clots from forming. Your doctor may recommend bedrest or limited activity for a brief period.
Renal vein thrombosis usually gets better over time without permanently injuring the kidneys.
- Acute renal failure (if thrombosis occurs in a dehydrated child)
- Embolization of the blood clot to the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
- Formation of new blood clots
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 health care provider if you develop decreased urine output, difficulty breathing, or other new symptoms.
There is no specific prevention for renal vein thrombosis. Maintaining fluids in the body to avoid dehydration may help to reduce its risk.
Kanso AA, Hassan NMA, Badr KF. Microvascular and macrovascular diseases of the kidney. In: Brenner BM, ed. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa; Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 32.
Reviewed By: Parul Patel, MD, Private Practice specializing in Nephrology and Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, Affiliated with California Pacific Medical Center, Department of Transplantation, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.