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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2004 October;95(5):357-74

language: English

Clinical insights into the diagnosis and management of renovascular disease. An evidence-based review

Bloch M. J., Basile J.


Renovascular disease is a common, but complex disorder, the most common causes of which are fibromuscular dysplasia and atherosclerosis. It usually presents in 1 of 3 forms: asymptomatic renal artery stenosis, renovascular hypertension, or ischemic nephropathy. The clinical index of suspicion remains paramount in developing an appropriate diagnostic strategy. Although subject to certain limitations, conventional contrast angiography is usually considered the gold standard in confirming the diagnosis. In addition, there are a number of available non-invasive tests that can aid in decision-making. These tests can be divided into those that detect the anatomic presence of a stenosis and those that identify the functional consequences of the renal artery obstruction. No one study is appropriate for every patient. Treatment options include medical, surgical or percutaneous approaches. Generally, in patients with fibromuscular disease the results of surgery and percutaneous approaches appear superior. In patients with atherosclerotic disease, the data are less consistent, and there does appear to be a group of patients who will respond well to medical management. Potential diagnostic algorithms for diagnosis and treatment are presented in this review.

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