Purpose: This retrospective review describes the surgical management and clinical outcome for renal artery aneurysms (RAAs) in 62 consecutive patients.
Methods: From January 1987 through July 2003, 804 patients had operative renal artery (RA) repair involving 1206 kidneys at our center. A subgroup of 62 patients (42 women, 20 men; mean age 46 +/- 18 years) received repair of 72 RAAs. Demographic data, comorbidity, and surgical technique were examined. Blood pressure and renal function response were determined. Patency of repair was evaluated by renal duplex sonography. Primary patency and patient survival were estimated by life-table methods. Tests of association were performed using chi(2) and the Student t tests.
Results: Seventy-two RAs were repaired for RAA with a mean diameter of 2.6 cm (range, 1.3 to 5.5 cm). Bilateral RAAs were present in 21 patients. Associated conditions included fibromuscular dysplasia, atherosclerosis, and arteritis in 54%, 35%, and 7%, respectively. Hypertension was present in 89% (mean blood pressure, 171 +/- 35/95 +/- 19 mm Hg; mean medications, 2.2 +/- 1.2 drugs) and renal insufficiency was present in 8% (mean serum creatinine, 1.9 +/- 0.6 mg/dL). RAA repair included bypass (67%), aneurysmorrhaphy (15%), or a combination (17%). One planned nephrectomy (1%) was performed for un-reconstructable disease. Branch RA reconstruction in 78% used ex vivo cold perfusion in 50%, in situ cold perfusion in 29%, and warm in situ repair in 21%. Of 9 bilateral RAA repairs, 7 (78%) were staged and 2 (22%) were simultaneous. Combined aortic reconstruction was required in 6 (10%) patients. Perioperative death occurred in 1 patient (1.6%), and significant morbidity was observed in 8 patients (12%). Hypertension was considered improved in 54%, cured in 21%, and unchanged in 25% at mean follow-up of 48 months (range, 1-156 months). Among patients with renal insufficiency, renal function was improved in 3 (60%), unchanged in 1 (20%), and declined in 1 (20%). Follow-up patency (mean, 33 months; range, 1-118 months) was determined for 64 (91%) RA reconstructions. Product-limit estimate of primary patency at 48 months was 96%. Product-limit estimate of survival was 91% at 120 months.
Conclusion: RAAs were repaired with low morbidity and mortality. Complex branch RAA repair using cold perfusion preservation and ex vivo techniques resulted in no unplanned nephrectomy, with an estimated primary patency of 96% at 48 months. Beneficial blood pressure response was observed in the majority of hypertensive patients. These results support selective surgical management of RAA.