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Hemostatic abnormalities in severe renal failure: Do they bark or bite?

1 Department of Nephrology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Nephrology, Central Northern Adelaide Renal and Transplant Service, Adelaide, Australia
3 Department of Transfusion Medicine and Immunohaematology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
5 Department of Renal Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Queensland, Australia

Correspondence Address:
AT Valson,
Department of Nephrology, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Abnormal primary hemostasis is believed to be the most significant contributor to uremic bleeding. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and profile of primary and secondary hemostatic disorders in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) Stages 4 and 5 and to determine their association if any, with degree of uremia. Stages 4 and 5 predialysis CKD patients attending nephrology outpatient clinic were prospectively recruited and the following bleeding parameters were measured in all patients: platelet count, bleeding time (BT), Factor VIII assay, von Willebrand factor antigen (vWF:Ag), vWF:ristocetin cofactor activity (vWF:RCo), ratio of vWF:ristocetin cofactor activity to vWF antigen (vWF:RCo/vWF:Ag), prothrombin time (PT), and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). Forty-five patients (80%, males) with a mean age of 39.4 years, 82% (n = 37) in Stage 5 CKD, were recruited for the study. The prevalence of thrombocytopenia was significantly higher among patients from West Bengal (15/26, 57.7%) compared to other study patients (2/19, 10.5%; P = 0.001); however, all had macrothrombocytes with normal BT, suggestive of the Harris syndrome. Factor VIII, vWF:Ag, vWF:RCo, vWF:RCo/vWF:Ag ratio, BT, PT, and aPTT were abnormal in 0 (0%), 0 (0%), 0 (0%), 4 (8.8%), 1 (2.2%), 7 (15.6%), and 5 (11.1%) patients, respectively. Except for thrombocytopenia, the prevalence of hemostatic abnormalities did not differ between CKD Stages 4 and 5. Hemostatic abnormalities are uncommon in Stages 4–5 CKD and except for thrombocytopenia, are not associated with degree of uremia. Constitutional macrothrombocytopenia is associated with normal BT even in CKD.

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Indian Journal of Nephrology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 20th Sept '07