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Kidney Int. 2006 Sep;70(5):948-55. Epub 2006 Jul 12.

Renal artery stent revascularization with embolic protection in patients with ischemic nephropathy.

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Department of Radiology, Auckland City Hospital, Park Road, Grafton, Auckland, New Zealand.


A prospective analysis of renal artery stent revascularization with distal embolic protection in a high-risk patient population with ischemic nephropathy is presented. A total of 63 patients (median age 70.2 years, range 54-86 years) had significant atherosclerotic stenosis of 83 renal arteries documented on pre-procedural imaging. All patients had baseline chronic renal insufficiency with a documented deterioration in renal function in the 6 months before revascularization. The endovascular technique used in all patients involved primary passage of an embolic filter into the distal main renal artery followed by primary stent deployment with a balloon expandable stainless steel stent. The filter baskets were recaptured and contents submitted for pathological analysis. At 6 months post-intervention, 97% of patients demonstrated stabilization or improvement in renal function. Only 3% of patients had an inexorable decline in renal function, unchanged by the intervention. After a mean follow up of 16.0 months (6-27), 94% of patients demonstrated stabilization or improvement in renal function. One patient suffered an acute post-procedural deterioration in renal function. In total, 60% of the filter baskets contained embolic material. This study confirms the technical feasibility of renal artery stent deployment with adjuvant embolic protection. The excellent results for renal preservation at 6 months post-intervention also suggest that a distal embolic protection device may improve the impact of percutaneous renal revascularization on progressive deterioration in renal function. The postulated mechanism is through the prevention of atheromatous embolization and the embolic yield from the distal filters supports this hypothesis. Patients most likely to receive the greatest benefit are those with mild baseline chronic renal insufficiency and a recent decline in renal function.

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