The risk of anticoagulation in hemodialysis patients

Nephron. 1977;18(2):109-13. doi: 10.1159/000180784.


The risks of intermittent anticoagulation with heparin for hemodialysis and longterm anticoagulation with warfarin to prevent clotting of arteriovenous shunts were assessed in a group of 125 home dialysis patients. Over a 7-year period, there were nine bleeding complications attributable to heparin anticoagulation for an incidence of one complication for every 40 patient year on dialysis. In contrast, 20 of 48 patients anticoagulated with warfarin for an average of 2 years each, had a total of 50 hemorrhagic complications requiring 542 days in the hospital and 15 operative procedures. Concersion to an alternative form of vascular access, the internal arteriovenous fistula, obviated the need for warfarin therapy and its unacceptably high complication rate in this population of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Heparin / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use


  • Warfarin
  • Heparin