Endovascular Treatment of Transplant Renal Artery Stenosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

J Endovasc Ther. 2022 Apr;29(2):294-306. doi: 10.1177/15266028211038593. Epub 2021 Aug 16.


Objective: Endovascular treatment through either percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA) alone or stenting has been previously used as a treatment for transplant renal artery stenosis (TRAS). This review aimed to investigate the results of endovascular treatment for renal artery stenosis in transplanted kidneys as compared with the outcomes of interventions, medical management, and graft survival in non-TRAS patients.

Methods: A systematic review of PubMed, Google Scholar, Cochrane, and Scopus was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines in which studies that reported outcomes of the treatment of TRAS via the endoluminal approach were identified, and their results were meta-analyzed.

Results: Fifty-four studies with a total of 1522 patients were included. A significant reduction of serum creatinine level was found, favoring the stenting group, with a mean difference of 0.68 mg/dL (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.17-1.19; Z=2.60, p=0.0009). Comparison of pre- and post-intervention values of any intervention revealed a significant decrease in overall serum creatinine level (0.65 mg/dL; 95% CI, 0.40-0.90; Z=5.09, p=0.00001), overall blood pressure, with a mean difference of 11.12 mmHg (95% CI, 7.29-14.95; Z=5.59, p=0.00001), mean difference in the use of medications (0.77; 95% CI, 0.29-1.24; p=0.002), and peak systolic velocity (190.05; 95% CI, 128.41-251.69; p<0.00001). The comparison of serum creatinine level between endovascular interventions and best medical therapy favored endovascular intervention, with a mean difference of 0.23 mg/dL (95% CI, 0.14-0.32; Z=5.07, p<0.00001). Graft survival was similar between the treated patients and those without TRAS (hazard ratio, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.75-1.28; p=0.091). The overall pooled success rate was 89%, and the overall complication rate was 10.4%, with the most prevalent complication being arterial dissection.

Conclusion: The endovascular treatment of TRAS improves graft preservation and renal function and hemodynamic parameters. PTA + stenting appears to be a more effective option to PTA alone in the stabilization of renal function, with additional benefits from decreased restenosis rates. Further high-quality studies could expand on these findings.

Keywords: endovascular management; meta-analysis; percutaneous transluminal angioplasty; transplant renal artery stenosis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Renal Artery Obstruction* / diagnostic imaging
  • Renal Artery Obstruction* / etiology
  • Renal Artery Obstruction* / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome