Kidney disease is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity, but underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that chronic renal insufficiency impairs angioadaptation in a rat model of hindlimb ischemia. Twenty male Sprague-Dawley rats (8 weeks old) underwent subtotal nephrectomy (5/6SNX) or sham surgery (each n=10). Ten weeks later, unilateral hindlimb ischemia was induced in all animals. Hindlimb perfusion was assessed by laser Doppler perfusion imaging and fluorescent microsphere injection studies 2 weeks after surgery. Ischemia-induced angiogenesis was measured by analyzing capillary density using CD31 immunofluorescence. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), its receptors (VEGFRs) and inducible as well as endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase was measured by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Laser Doppler hindpaw perfusion was significantly reduced in 5/6SNX compared to sham-operated animals. Impaired hindlimb re-perfusion in 5/6SNX vs control rats was confirmed by fluorescent microsphere injection studies (relative perfusion of ischemic vs non-ischemic limb: 68.9+/-6.4 vs 92.4+/-3.6%, P=0.005). Ischemic skeletal muscle neovascularization increased to a greater extent in sham-operated compared to 5/6SNX rats (69+/-8 vs 29+/-7%, P<0.05). VEGF and VEGFR-1/2 mRNA expression increased in ischemic hindlimbs of control rats, whereas no change or a decrease was observed in 5/6SNX. In contrast, inducible and endothelial NO synthase expression did not significantly differ between sham and 5/6SNX rats. Chronic renal insufficiency impairs angiogenesis and limb perfusion in a rat hindlimb ischemia model. Impaired angioadaptation may contribute to the poor prognosis of patients with renal failure suffering from peripheral arterial disease.