Hypertension detected in patients with renovascular disease poses a major clinical challenge. The rapid expansion of noninvasive imaging, effective antihypertensive drug therapy, and endovascular interventional procedures combine to make optimal management a moving target. Renal arterial disease accelerates the development of hypertension associated with activation of multiple pressor systems and accelerated target organ injury. Younger individuals with fibromuscular lesions often respond well to renal revascularization with minor associated risks. Care must be taken in cases of complex vascular anomalies, such as renal artery aneurysms. Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis is detected more commonly than ever before and affects more than 85% of patients referred for revascularization. Most are older patients with long-standing hypertension, diabetes, and pre-existing complications of vascular disease. The benefits of extensive workup and intervention in this group of patients are controversial. Antihypertensive drug therapy is most effectively achieved with drugs that block the renin-angiotensin system, but most require multiple agents. Selection of patients for renal revascularization in this group is far more controversial than with fibromuscular disease. Several small trials failed to identify major benefits with renal artery angioplasty as compared to closely monitored drug therapy, although crossover rates from medical to interventional arms were high. The Cardiovascular Outcomes in Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions (CORAL) seeks to randomly assign subjects with proven, high-grade renal artery lesions to optimal medical management with and without stenting. This important trial employs distal embolic protection to prevent deterioration of renal function. Understanding the optimal role for renal revascularization depends heavily upon the successful conduct of such trials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine