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Br J Surg. 2002 Jun;89(6):737-40.

Prospective multicentre study of the natural history of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis in patients with peripheral vascular disease.

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Regional Vascular Unit, St Mary's Hospital, Praed Street, London W2 1NY, UK.



Many patients with peripheral vascular disease have coincident renal artery stenosis. The present study characterized the natural history of the condition.


Some 98 patients (71 men) with more than 50 per cent atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (unilateral 64, bilateral 34) were recruited prospectively. Measurements of serum creatinine, blood pressure and renal size were recorded at baseline and every 6 months, for a minimum of 2 years.


Data were available for 85 patients with a minimum follow-up of 2 years. The mean age was 71 (range 51-87) years. All 52 patients with unilateral renal artery stenosis were managed conservatively (group 1); 21 of the 33 patients with bilateral disease had no intervention (group 2) and the remaining 12 had angioplasty or reconstruction (group 3). The overall mortality rate was 32 per cent at 2 years (27 patients) and this was similar in all three groups. In only three patients was death related directly to renovascular disease; coronary disease accounted for the majority of deaths. All three patients who needed dialysis died within 1 year. In survivors from groups 1 and 3 there was a significant increase in serum creatinine concentration at follow-up. Blood pressure did not increase significantly.


Patients with renal artery stenosis and peripheral vascular disease had a poor prognosis, but this was not directly attributable to renal failure.

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