Hypercoagulable states in renal transplant candidates: impact of anticoagulation upon incidence of renal allograft thrombosis

Transplantation. 2001 Sep 27;72(6):1073-8. doi: 10.1097/00007890-200109270-00016.


Introduction: Although multiple studies of demographic variables have been associated with allograft thrombosis, these results are not routinely reproducible. Are ESRD patients with hypercoagulable states (HCS) (antithrombin III deficiency, protein S or C deficiency, activated protein C resistance, and anticardiolipin antibodies) at predictably greater risk for allograft thrombosis?

Methods: Between 1996 and 1999, all renal transplant candidates were screened for hypercoagulability risk factors [HRF] (multiple arteriovenous access thromboses, prior deep vein thrombosis, prior allograft thrombosis, collagen vascular disease, multiple miscarriages, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and Fabry's disease). HRF(+) candidates were then tested for HCS status. We administered preemptive posttransplant i.v. Heparin in HCS(+) patients and observed the impact of this intervention upon the incidence of allograft thrombosis. We compared demographic data and incidence of allograft thrombosis in an historic control (346 patients transplanted between June 31, 1992, and March 5, 1996) not tested for HCS and a study cohort (502 patients transplanted between March 6, 1996, and June 31, 1999) prospectively screened for HRF. HRF(+) patients who were HCS(+) in the study cohort received i.v. heparin immediately after transplant and p.o. warfarin as outpatients.

Results: Demographic characteristics previously implicated in allograft thrombosis were equivalently distributed in both cohorts with the exceptions that more living-donor transplants (33.1% vs. 15.3%) were performed in study cohort, CIT>24 hr occurred in more control patients (37.3% vs. 22.1%) and more study patients (16.7% vs. 0%) received tacrolimus. Hypercoagulable states were found upon reevaluating five of seven controls (71.4%), who lost prior allografts to thrombosis. Hypercoagulable states were prospectively detected in 10 study patients with hypercoagulability risk factors. Most (9 of 10) study patients receiving anticoagulation have achieved long-term allograft function. Study group allograft thrombosis incidence was reduced (1.59% vs. 4.05%). Hypercoagulable states were demonstrated in most episodes of allograft thrombosis. Control patients who lost prior allografts to thrombosis were anticoagulated after retransplantation and 100% achieved long-term allograft function.

Conclusions: Long-term allograft function has been achieved in 90% of study patients when prophylactically anticoagulating study patients with hypercoagulable states. A 2.6-fold reduction in the expected incidence of allograft thrombosis was observed in anticoagulated patients with hypercoagulable states.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Circulation*
  • Thrombophilia / drug therapy*
  • Thrombophilia / physiopathology
  • Thrombosis / epidemiology
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Anticoagulants