Chronic kidney disease is an established risk factor for arterial and venous thromboembolism (TE). Whereas the overall risk of TE in moderately decreased kidney function is approximately 2.5-fold higher compared to patients with normal renal function, the risk increase is 5.5-fold in patients with severe renal dysfunction. In patients with renal dysfunction and arterial thrombosis (OR: 4.9), malignancy (OR: 5.8) surgery (OR: 14.0) or thrombophilia (OR: 4.3) the risk to suffer from venous TE is higher compared to the risk associated to the baseline renal dysfunction alone. The treatment options for end-stage renal diseases include hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation. During all treatment modalities thrombotic complications have been described, namely catheter malfunction and shunt thrombosis in patients undergoing hemodialysis in up to 25% of patients, and TE, pulmonary embolism or graft vessel thrombosis in approximately 8% of patients. The reported incidence of reno-vascular thrombosis following renal transplantation leading to hemorrhagic infarction with organ rejection or organ loss varied between 2-12%. Keeping in mind the multifactorial etiology of TE in patients with kidney dysfunction a general screening for thrombophilia in this patient group is not indicated. Selected screening on an individual patient basis should be discussed if the family history for TE is positive or the patient itself had suffered one thrombosis before the onset of the renal disease or multiple TEs during hemodialysis or post kidney transplantation in patients waiting for living donor kidney transplantation.
Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; organ failure; thrombophilia; thrombosis.