Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (ARAS) can cause secondary hypertension, progressive decline in renal function, and cardiac complications. Recent randomized controlled trials including the Cardiovascular Outcomes in Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions study have not reported the benefit of renal artery stenting compared with medical therapy alone to improve renal function or reduce cardiovascular and renal events in the enrolled patients with ARAS. However, observational evidence indicating the benefits of angioplasty in the selected high-risk patients with ARAS has been increasing. Thus, the timely correction of stenosis through angioplasty may have a beneficial effect in selected patients. However, optimal patient selection for angioplasty has been debated and can be challenging at times. Clinicians must identify the responsive patients who would benefit from angioplasty through risk stratification and the prediction of outcomes. Efforts have been made for the determination of predictors that can identify the subgroups of patients who would benefit from angioplasty. Lower age, more severe stenosis, preserved renal perfusion, and absence of diabetes or generalized atherosclerosis have been reported as the predictors for the improvement of hypertension after angioplasty. Global renal ischemia, rapidly declining renal function over 6-12 months, progressive shrinkage of the affected kidney, lower resistive index, and lower levels of albuminuria have been reported as predictors of improved or preserved renal function after angioplasty. This review discusses the identification of ARAS patients who will potentially respond well to angioplasty.
Keywords: angioplasty; blood pressure; hypertension; ischemic nephropathy; renal artery stenosis; renovascular hypertension; revascularization.
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