Background: Renal artery stenosis is a common disorder and is an established cause of hypertension and renal insufficiency. Although treatment with renal artery stents has been shown to improve blood pressure and renal function for some patients, the patient population most likely to benefit is unknown. The current study was designed to determine which factors are predictive of improved blood pressure and renal function when patients with renal artery stenosis are treated with renal artery angioplasty and stent placement.
Methods: In a prospective evaluation 127 consecutively enrolled patients with renal artery stenosis in 171 vessels were treated with angioplasty and intravascular stents. Blood pressure and serum creatinine concentration were measured before stent placement and during the follow-up period.
Results: The mean length of the follow-up period was 15 +/- 14 months. Mean systolic blood pressure improved among patients with hypertension (from 177 +/- 26 mm Hg before stent placement to 151 +/- 24 mm Hg 6 months after stent placement (P <.001). The greatest improvement occurred among those with the highest baseline systolic blood pressure. This beneficial effect on blood pressure was sustained for 3 years. Sex, age, diastolic blood pressure, number of vessels into which stents were placed, serum creatinine concentration, presence of bilateral disease, race, and severity of stenosis were not predictive of improved blood pressure. Mean creatinine concentration was not significantly changed for the group as a whole. A significant decrease in serum creatinine concentration occurred among 43% of patients with baseline renal insufficiency. None of the examined variables was predictive of improvement.
Conclusions: Renal artery angioplasty and stent placement produced a significantly greater reduction in systolic blood pressure among patients with the highest baseline systolic blood pressure. Other examined variables were not predictive of a significant improvement in blood pressure. No examined variable was predictive of improved renal function. We concluded that management of renal artery stenosis with renal artery angioplasty and stent placement is most likely to result in significant improvement in systolic blood pressure among patients with the highest baseline systolic blood pressure.