Renal artery stenosis towards the year 2000

Frans H.M. Derkx, Brigit C. Van Jaarsveld, Pitta Krijnen, Arie J. Man In 't Veld, Anton H. Van Den Meiracker, Maarten A.D.H. Schalekamp

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Functional diagnostic tests for selecting patients for renal arteriography. The functional diagnostic tests now available to select patients for renal arteriography, such as captopril-renal scintigraphy and the captopril-peripheral vein renin test, have a high degree of diagnostic accuracy, 70% sensitivity at 90% specificity, but they are still not good enough to assess the large population of hypertensives for renal artery stenosis. The use of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor challenge and the introduction of a new pharmacon, technetium-labelled mercapto-triglycine, have not sufficiently increased the value of scintigraphy and further improvement in the near future seems unlikely. The use of clinical criteria to identify high-risk patients. A more realistic approach to the diagnosis of renal artery stenosis is to seek simple and sensible clinical criteria to identify high-risk patients. The blood pressure response to 2 months of treatment with a standardized two-drug regimen is a suitable criterion. Interim analysis of an ongoing prospective multicentre study in the Netherlands indicates that the prevalence of renal artery stenosis is as high as 25% in patients who are resistant to the combination of 10 mg amlodipine + 50 mg atenolol, compared with 15% in patients resistant to the combination of 20 mg enalapril + 25 mg hydrochlorothiazide. When drug resistance is used as the selection criterion for arteriography, the total number of cases detected with intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography does not seem to differ according to which of these drug regimens is used. Future possibilities The current enthusiasm for percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty (PTRA) and stenting may be premature. With further improvement of non-invasive techniques to visualize the renal arteries, such as colour Doppler ultrasound with microparticle contrast enhancement or magnetic resonance angiography, it should become more attractive to follow patients with renal artery stenosis while they are being treated with drugs rather than automatically resorting to PTRA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Hypertension, Supplement
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1996


  • Angioplasty
  • Hypertension
  • Renal artery stenosis
  • Renal scintigraphy
  • Renovascular hypertension

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