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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Panminerva Medica 2016 March;58(1):94-101

language: English

Current management of renal artery stenosis

Tomas LENZ 1, Karl-Ludwig SCHULTE 2

1 KfH Kidney Center & IPNH, Ludwigshafen, Germany; 2 Vascular Center Berlin/SGK-Consulting Center, Berlin, Germany


Severe renal artery stenosis may cause renovascular hypertension; in case of bilateral narrowing or in a stenotic solitary kidney, renal insufficiency (e.g. ischemic kidney disease) or pulmonary flash edema may ensue. Renal artery stenosis can be treated by revasularization, using either percutaneous angioplasty (with or without stenting) or less common open surgical procedures, both with excellent primary patency rates. However, several randomized trials of renal artery angioplasty or stenting in patients with arteriosclerotic disease have failed to demonstrate a longer-term benefit with regard to blood pressure control and renal function over medical management. It has not yet been demonstrated that renal revascularization leads to a prolongation of event-free survival. Furthermore, endovascular procedures are associated with substantial risks. If revascularization is envisaged careful patient selection, e.g. patients with refractory hypertension or progressive renal failure, is important to maximize the potential benefit.

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