Renal artery stenosis: epidemiology and treatment
Benjamin R Weber, Robert S Dieter
Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL, USA
Abstract: Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is a frequently encountered problem in clinical practice. The disease encompasses a broad spectrum of pathophysiologies and is associated with three major clinical syndromes: ischemic nephropathy, hypertension, and destabilizing cardiac syndromes. The two most common etiologies are fibromuscular dysplasia and atherosclerotic renal artery disease with atherosclerotic disease accounting for the vast majority of cases. Atherosclerotic renovascular disease has considerable overlap with atherosclerotic disease elsewhere and is associated with a poor prognosis. A wide range of diagnostic modalities and treatment approaches for RAS are available to clinicians, and with the advent of endovascular interventions, selecting the best course for a given patient has only grown more challenging. Several clinical trials have demonstrated some benefit with revascularization but not to the extent that many had hoped for or expected. Furthermore, much of the existing data is only marginally useful given significant flaws in study design and inherent bias. There remains a need for further identification of subgroups and appropriate indications in hopes of maximizing outcomes and avoiding unnecessary procedures in patients who would not benefit from treatment. In recent decades, the study of RAS has expanded and evolved rapidly. In this review, we will attempt to summarize the amassed body of literature with a focus on the epidemiology of RAS including prevalence, overlap with other atherosclerotic disease, and prognosis. We will also outline existing diagnostic and treatment approaches available to clinicians as well as summarize the findings of several major clinical trials. Finally, we will offer our perspective on future directions in the field.
Keywords: atherosclerosis, hypertension, nephropathy, renovascular, stent, angioplasty, endovascular
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