Background: The use of digital subtraction angiography (DSA) versus helical CT angiography (CTA) or MR angiography (MRA) for live renal donor evaluation is still controversial. Although CTA and MRA can detect some proximal moderate to severe arterial changes caused by fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD), mild and distal moderate FMD are not detected well without angiography.
Methods: This is a retrospective chart review of all potential, normotensive live renal donors at our center from July 1995 to June 2001. One hundred fifty-nine patients completed the donor evaluation process and underwent DSA.
Results: Seven cases of FMD, an incidence of 4.4%, were discovered. These patients were eliminated from donation. The distribution of renal vessels for our 159 patients was single arteries bilaterally, 64.8%; single left with multiple right, 16.4%; double left with single right, 9.4%; and multiple bilateral arteries, 9.4%. Three of the seven FMD patients had bilateral disease. Two of the seven (28.6%) FMD patients have subsequently required antihypertensive medications, with one requiring angioplasty of a progressive FMD stenotic lesion.
Conclusions: We are concerned that CTA or MRA may overlook mild cases of DSA-detectable FMD. All seven FMD patients had single left renal arteries and would have undergone left donor nephrectomy. This would have resulted in their remaining right native kidneys having mild to moderate FMD in six of seven patients and in four donor kidneys having mild to moderate FMD. The need for antihypertensive medications in two of these seven potential donors within 4 years of their evaluation supports previous literature reports.