Vitamin K antagonist-associated microscopic hematuria



      Vitamin K antagonists (VKA) are the most widely used anticoagulants for the prevention of thrombotic events. Several renal adverse effects have been associated with the use of VKA. The main aim of our study was to explore the association between international normalized ratio (INR) levels and microscopic hematuria in patients with VKA.


      We performed a cross-sectional study of patients treated with VKA that attended the outpatient clinic for routine INR control. A simple urinalysis was performed on the day of the INR control and the precise number of red cells in the urine sediment was quantified. Demographic data, kidney function tests, comorbidities, anticoagulant dose and concomitant treatment were registered.


      A total of 337 patients were included with median INR levels of 2.6 (IQR 2.1–3.3). 11.9% of the patients presented microscopic hematuria (≥14 RBCs/µl). There was a significant correlation between INR levels and the number of red blood cells in the urine sediment (r = 0.201, p = 0.024). In the univariate analysis, microscopic hematuria was associated with having an INR >3.5 (19% vs. 10.2%, p = 0.046), bacteriuria (15.2% vs. 3.6%, p = 0.015), leukocyturia (14.8% vs. 6.6%, p =  0.026), hypertension (16.2% vs. 9.5%, p = 0.053), and the use of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockers (6.9% vs. 17.2%, p = 0.004). Multivariate logistic regression showed an association between microscopic hematuria and RAS blockade (OR 0.38, CI 95% 0.163-0.886, p = 0.025), independent from INR levels, hypertension, leukocyturia or bacteriuria.


      INR overdose was significantly associated with the presence of microscopic hematuria. RAS blockade is an independent protective factor for the presence of microscopic hematuria in anticoagulated patients.

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