Incidental renal artery stenosis in peripheral vascular disease: a case for treatment?

Kidney Int. 2001 Apr;59(4):1480-3. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.2001.0590041480.x.


Background: Renal artery stenosis (RAS) is frequently encountered as an incidental finding in peripheral vascular disease. We assessed whether revascularization is indicated to prevent the practical consequences of end-stage renal failure, that is, the need for renal replacement therapy.

Methods: In a retrospective study, a cohort of consecutive patients was followed who had undergone angiography 8 to 10 years previously for peripheral artery disease. Patients with untreated incidental RAS of > or =50% diameter stenosis (68.8 +/- 9.8 years, mean +/- SD) were compared with regard to the prevalence of renal replacement therapy to controls without RAS who were matched for age and gender.

Results: RAS was present in 126 of 386 evaluable patients (33%). None of these patients required renal replacement therapy during the 10-year follow-up. Serum creatinine values remained stable during follow-up.

Conclusions: Incidental RAS is frequently seen in patients with peripheral vascular disease. If left untreated, incidental RAS seems not to result in end-stage renal failure or in a need for renal replacement therapy. Revascularization with the aim to prevent end-stage renal failure seems less indicated, and further prospective studies are indicated to elucidate this issue.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angiography
  • Arteries
  • Cohort Studies
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / diagnostic imaging
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / etiology*
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / therapy*
  • Renal Replacement Therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vascular Diseases / complications*
  • Vascular Diseases / diagnostic imaging


  • Creatinine