JOURNAL ARTICLE

Warfarin-related nephropathy is the tip of the iceberg: direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran induces glomerular hemorrhage with acute kidney injury in rats

Margaret Ryan, Kyle Ware, Zahida Qamri, Anjali Satoskar, Haifeng Wu, Gyongyi Nadasdy, Brad Rovin, Lee Hebert, Tibor Nadasdy, Sergey V Brodsky
Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation 2014, 29 (12): 2228-34
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BACKGROUND: Excessive anticoagulation with warfarin can result in acute kidney injury (AKI) by causing glomerular hemorrhage and renal tubular obstruction by red blood cell (RBC) casts in some patients, especially in those with chronic kidney disease (CKD). This condition was described as warfarin-related nephropathy (WRN). Recent evidence suggests that WRN-like syndromes are not confined to anticoagulation with warfarin, but may be seen with other anticoagulants, such as dabigatran. The aim of this study was to investigate dabigatran effects on kidney function in an animal model of CKD and possible pathogenic mechanisms of AKI.

METHODS: Control and 5/6 nephrectomy rats were treated with different doses of dabigatran and protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR-1) inhibitor SCH79797.

RESULTS: Dabigatran resulted in changes in coagulation in rats similar to those in humans at 50 mg/kg/day. Dabigatran resulted in a dose-dependent increase in serum creatinine (Scr) and hematuria in both control and 5/6 nephrectomy rats. SCH79797 also increased Scr and hematuria, more prominent in animals with CKD. Morphologically, numerous RBC tubular casts were seen in 5/6 nephrectomy rats treated with either dabigatran or SCH79797 and only occasional RBC casts in control rats.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that WRN represents part of a broader syndrome, anticoagulant-related nephropathy (ARN). ARN, at least partially, is mediated via PAR-1. Our findings suggest that not only CKD patients, but other patients as well, are at high risk of developing AKI if the therapeutic range of anticoagulation with dabigatran is exceeded. Close monitoring of kidney function in patients on dabigatran therapy is warranted.

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