Your kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs that make urine (pee), balance your body’s water and mineral levels, and filter waste out of your blood.
The Urinary Tract
What is renal vein thrombosis?
Renal vein thrombosis is a blood clot in the renal vein, which is the main vein that carries blood away from your kidneys.
Renal vein thrombosis can cause kidney damage
One or both of your kidneys may be affected
Symptoms include pain in the chest, back, and hips, and urinating (peeing) less
Doctors have you take medicine to break down the clot
What causes renal vein thrombosis?
Renal vein thrombosis is usually caused by:
Other causes include:
What are the symptoms of renal vein thrombosis?
You usually don't have any symptoms unless you get kidney failure. Symptoms of kidney failure include:
Feeling weak and tired
Feeling sick to your stomach
Being less hungry than usual
Feeling sleepy or confused
If the thrombosis was caused by a general increase in blood clotting, you may have symptoms of blood clots in other organs, such as in your:
Lungs: Chest pain and shortness of breath
Brain: Symptoms of a stroke, such as weakness and confusion
Legs: Swelling and pain in a leg
How can doctors tell if I have renal vein thrombosis?
To find out if you have renal vein thrombosis, doctors may do:
Magnetic resonance angiography (a type of MRI that focuses on your blood vessels)
Computed tomography angiography (a type of CT scan that focuses on your blood vessels)
Doctors will also do blood and urine tests to look for signs of kidney damage and for other causes of thrombosis.
How do doctors treat renal vein thrombosis?
Doctors treat whatever caused the renal vein thrombosis. They'll usually also give you:
Anticoagulants (blood-thinning medicine)
Sometimes they'll remove the clot from the kidney vein using a catheter or give you drugs that can break down the clot.