[Atherosclerotic renal artery disease diagnosis update]

Nephrol Ther. 2009 Feb;5(1):1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.nephro.2008.06.002. Epub 2008 Sep 21.
[Article in French]


Atherosclerotic renal artery disease represents a cause of which little is known but not a cause to be neglected for hypertension and renal insufficiency. Even though its occurrence remains badly defined, atherosclerotic renal artery disease is constantly on the rise due to the aging population, the never prevailing hypertension and diabetes mellitus. This review aims to give a clinical profile of patients presenting with atherosclerotic renal artery disease and to discuss, in the light of study results, which diagnostic evaluation should be used considering the sequence and the benefit and risk of each in order to initiate a personalized treatment. Patients affected by atherosclerotic renal artery disease are likely to have more complications and more extensive target-organ damage than patients without renal artery stenosis. The evolution of the atherosclerotic renal artery disease is in general slow and progressive. Nevertheless, certain clinical cases manifest themselves with the onset of acute renal failure bought upon by the administration of blockers of the rennin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, or by some other causes responsible for a sudden drop in renal plasma flow (e.g., thrombosis of the renal artery). The relationship between atherosclerotic renal artery disease and atherosclerosis is complex, and mediators implicated in the pathophysiology of renovascular disease may also contribute to the progression of cardiovascular damage. An early assumption of the atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis is warranted to determine the adapted treatment (i.e., medical treatment, revascularisation...) just as the assumption and the correction of the more general cardiovascular risk factors.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Angiography / methods
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Renal Artery*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler