Narrative Review of Hypercoagulability in Small-Vessel Vasculitis

Kidney Int Rep. 2020 Jan 13;5(5):586-599. doi: 10.1016/j.ekir.2019.12.018. eCollection 2020 May.


Pauci-immune necrotizing and crescentic glomerulonephritis (GN) is the most common etiology of rapidly progressive GN. Clinical presentation in those afflicted is usually related to rapid loss of kidney function. We report the case of a 70-year-old woman who came to medical attention for signs and symptoms related to lower-extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT). At presentation, the patient had biochemical abnormalities consistent with active GN, which quickly progressed to rapid loss in kidney function requiring renal replacement therapy. Kidney biopsy revealed small-vessel vasculitis with glomerular crescents. Serologic studies were negative for antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody antibodies and other causes of acute GN. Plasmapheresis, immunosuppressive, and anticoagulant therapies were prescribed. Absence of other apparent end-organ involvement with vasculitis pointed toward renal-limited small-vessel vasculitis, yet presence of unprovoked DVT argues for systemic vascular inflammation. This case illustrates that venous thrombosis can be the presenting manifestation in patients with vasculitis and silent, severe end-organ involvement. The epidemiology and pathophysiology of venous thromboembolism in small-vessel vasculitis are discussed in this report.

Keywords: crescentic; glomerulonephritis; hypercoagulation; thrombosis; vasculitis.

Publication types

  • Review