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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2010 October;51(5):701-20


language: English

Renal angioplasty and stenting: is it still indicated after Astral and Star studies?

Henry M. 1, 2, Benjelloun A. 3, Henry I. 3, Polydorou A. 5, Hugel M. 1, 2

1 Cabinet de Cardiologie, Nancy, France; 2 Global Research Institute, Apollo Clinic, Hyderabad, India; 3 Clinique Coeur et Vaisseaux, Rabat-Sale, Morocco; 4 Polyclinique Bois-Bernard, Bois-Bernard, France; 5 Panteleimon General Hospital, Athens, Greece


A renal artery stenosis (RAS) is common among patients with atherosclerosis, up to a third of patients undergoing cardiac catheterization. Fibromuscular dysplasia is the next cause of RAS, commonly found in young women. Atherosclerosis RAS generally progresses overtime and is often associated with loss of renal mass and worsening renal function (RF). Percutaneous renal artery stent placement is the preferred method of revascularization for hemodynamically significant RAS according to ACC and AHA guidelines. Several randomized trials have shown the superiority of endovascular procedures to medical therapy alone. However, two studies ASTRAL and STAR studies were recently published and did not find any difference between renal stenting and medical therapy. But these studies have a lot of limitations and flaws as we will discuss (poor indications, poor results, numerous complications, failures, poor technique, inexperienced operators, ecc.). Despite these questionable studies, renal stenting keeps indications in patients with: uncontrolled hypertension; ischemic nephropathy; cardiac disturbance syndrome (e.g. “flash” pulmonary edema, uncontrolled heart failure or uncontrolled angina pectoris); solitary kidney. To improve the clinical response rates, a better selection of the patients and lesions is mandatory with: good non-invasive or invasive imaging; physiologic lesion assessment using transluminal pressure gradients; measurements of biomarkers (e.g., BNP); fractional flow reserve study. A problem remains after renal angioplasty stenting, the deterioration of the RF in 20-30% of the patients. Atheroembolism seems to play an important role and is probably the main cause of this R.F deterioration. The use of protection devices alone or in combination with IIb IIa inhibitors has been proposed and seems promising as shown in different recent reports. Renal angioplasty and stenting is still indicated but we need: a better patient and lesion selection; improvements in techniques and maybe the use of protection devices to reduce the risk of RF deterioration after renal stenting.

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