Purpose: In a recent study we found an increased resistive index immediately after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) in patients older than 60 years, which suggests renovascular disturbance. The present 26-month followup study was undertaken to investigate the relevance of elevated resistive index levels and the incidence of new onset hypertension.
Materials and methods: Of the initial 76 patients 57, including 20 of the 23 at risk patients 60 or greater years, group 3), were followed for more than 26 +/- 6 months after ESWL. Followup included 2 resistive index measurements by Doppler ultrasound of the treated and the contralateral kidney, at least 2 blood pressure measurements 1 week apart and excretory urography as well as determination of plasma renin activity in 9 patients.
Results: With 1 exception, elevated resistive index levels and hypertension were observed exclusively in patients older than 60 years. In these patients the resistive index ranged between 0.65 and 0.86 (mean plus or minus standard deviation 0.74 +/- 0.05, normal less than 0.7). This increase in resistive index was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). Compared to the levels obtained immediately after ESWL, the resistive index continued to increase in all 9 patients older than 60 years who had hypertension (45%), whereas in the normotensive patients the resistive index was either stable or decreased. There was a strong positive correlation (0.903) between pathological resistive index levels and blood pressure.
Conclusions: Patients older than 60 years are at risk for disturbances of renal perfusion as assessed by the resistive index, and 45% of these patients have new onset hypertension within 26 months of treatment.