Management of uremic bleeding

Clin Pharm. 1990 Sep;9(9):673-81.


The pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and management of uremic bleeding are discussed, and the role of pharmacologic intervention in the treatment of this disorder is emphasized. Care of the patient with uremia is frequently complicated by spontaneous, life-threatening bleeding episodes. Although not completely elucidated, this bleeding tendency may be associated with ineffective binding of the von Willebrand Factor (a component of factor VIII) to platelet membranes, acquired storage-pool deficiency, and anemia. Uremic patients may develop a number of clinical manifestations, including epistaxis, purpura, and bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract. Dialysis, while frequently effective for the short term, does not completely correct platelet dysfunction. Red-blood-cell transfusions may partially reduce bleeding time; however, their use places the patient at risk for viral infection. Cryoprecipitate is often used in acute situations because of its short onset of action. Desmopressin is likewise effective when an immediate effect is desired. Conjugated-estrogen therapy appears beneficial for patients in whom a long-lasting effect is desired. Management of uremic bleeding may include dialysis, red-blood-cell transfusions, cryoprecipitate, desmopressin, and conjugated estrogens. Adverse effects, particularly the risk of viral infection, as well as duration of action, must be considered in therapy selection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin / therapeutic use*
  • Estrogens, Conjugated (USP) / therapeutic use
  • Hemorrhage / complications
  • Hemorrhage / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Uremia / complications
  • Uremia / etiology
  • Uremia / therapy*


  • Estrogens, Conjugated (USP)
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin