Relationship Between Carotid Atherosclerosis and Pulse Pressure with Renal Hemodynamics in Hypertensive Patients

Am J Hypertens. 2016 Apr;29(4):519-27. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpv130. Epub 2015 Aug 1.


Background: Structural atherosclerotic damage, arterial stiffness, pulse pressure (PP), and renal hemodynamics may interact and influence each other. Renal resistance index (RRI) appears as a good indicator of systemic vascular changes. The aim of our study was to assess the independent relationships of carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), and peripheral PP with RRI in hypertensives with various degrees of renal function.

Methods: We enrolled 463 hypertensive patients (30-70 years) with normal renal function (group 0; n = 280) and with chronic kidney disease (groups I-V; n = 183). All subjects underwent ultrasonographic examination of intrarenal and carotid vasculature, as well as a 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

Results: A statistically significant difference in RRI, cIMT, aPWV, and clinic PP was observed in the different 6 groups (all P < 0.001), even after adjustment for age. RRI correlated with cIMT (r = 0.460, P < 0.001), aPWV (r = 0.386, P < 0.001), clinic PP (r = 0.279, P < 0.001), and 24-h PP (r = 0.229, P < 0.001) in the entire study population. These correlations were similar in subjects with and without renal dysfunction. In the overall study population, the association between RRI, cIMT, and clinic PP remained statistically significant even after adjustment for various confounding factors, whereas the relationship between RRI and aPWV was lost in multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: cIMT and clinic PP rather than directly aPWV are associated with intrarenal hemodynamics. Our results confirm that in hypertensives RRI not only detects derangement of intrarenal circulation but may also be considered as a sensor of systemic vascular changes, independently of level of renal function.

Keywords: arterial stiffness; atherosclerosis; blood pressure; chronic kidney disease; hypertension; pulse pressure; renal hemodynamics; renal resistance index..

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Kidney / blood supply*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Renal Circulation*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diagnostic imaging
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color
  • Vascular Resistance
  • Vascular Stiffness*