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Kidney Int. 2011 Jul;80(2):181-9. doi: 10.1038/ki.2011.44. Epub 2011 Mar 9.

Warfarin-related nephropathy occurs in patients with and without chronic kidney disease and is associated with an increased mortality rate.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA. sergey.brodsky@osumc.edu

Abstract

An acute increase in the international normalized ratio (INR; a comparison of prothrombin time to monitor the effects of warfarin) over 3 in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is often associated with an unexplained acute increase in serum creatinine (SC) and an accelerated progression of CKD. Kidney biopsy in a subset of these patients showed obstruction of the renal tubule by red blood cell casts, and this appears to be the dominant mechanism of the acute kidney injury. We termed this warfarin-related nephropathy (WRN), and previously reported cases of WRN only in patients with CKD. We now assess whether this occurs in patients without CKD, its risk factors, and consequences. In 15,258 patients who initiated warfarin therapy during a 5-year period, 4006 had an INR over 3 and SC measured at the same time; however, the large data set precluded individual patient clinical assessment. A presumptive diagnosis of WRN was made if the SC increased by over 0.3 mg/dl within 1 week after the INR exceeded 3 with no record of hemorrhage. WRN occurred in 20.5% of the entire cohort, 33.0% of the CKD cohort, and 16.5% of the no-CKD cohort. Other risk factors included age, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. The 1-year mortality was 31.1% with compared with 18.9% without WRN, an increased risk of 65%. Thus, WRN may be a common complication of warfarin therapy in high-risk patients and CKD doubles this risk. The mechanisms of these risks are unclear.

Comment in

PMID:
21389969
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3675881
Free PMC Article

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