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J Vasc Surg. 1996 Sep;24(3):371-80; discussion 380-2.

Renal artery reconstruction for the preservation of renal function.

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Division of Vascular Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114, USA.



We reviewed a 13-year experience with an emphasis on long-term survival and renal function response when renal artery reconstruction (RAR) was performed primarily for the preservation or restoration of renal function in patients who had atherosclerotic renovascular disease.


From January 1, 1980, to June 30, 1993, 139 patients underwent RAR for renal function salvage and were retrospectively reviewed. Inclusion criteria were either preoperative serum creatinine level > 2.0 mg/dl (67% of patients) or RAR to the entire functioning renal mass irrespective of baseline renal function. Patient survival was calculated by life-table methods. Cox regression analysis was used to determine relative risk (RR) estimates for the late outcomes of continued deterioration of renal function and late survival after RAR. A logistic regression model was used to evaluate variables associated with perioperative complications.


Clinical characteristics of the cohort were notable for advanced cardiac (history of congestive heart failure, 27%; angina, 22%; previous myocardial infarction, 19%) and renal disease (serum creatinine level < 2.0 mg/dl, 33%; 2.0 mg/dl to 3.0 mg/dl, 40%, > 3.0 mg/dl, 27%). Cardiac disease was the principle cause of early (6 of 11 operative deaths) and late death. Operative management consisted of aortorenal bypass in 47%, extraanatomic bypass in 45%, and endarterectomy in 8%; 45% of patients required combined aortic and RAR. The operative mortality rate was 8%; significant perioperative renal dysfunction occurred in 10%. Major operative morbidity was associated with increasing azotemia (RR = 2.1; p = 0.001; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3 to 4.7 for each 1.0 mg/dl increase in baseline creatinine level). Of those patients who had a baseline creatinine level > or = 2.0 mg/dl, 54% had > or = 20% reduction in creatinine level after RAR. Late follow-up data were available for 87% of operative survivors at a mean duration of 4 years (range, 6 weeks to 12.6 years). Actuarial survival at 5 years was 52% +/- 5%. Continued deterioration in renal function occurred in 24% of patients who survived operation, and eventual dialysis was required in 15%. Deterioration of renal function after RAR was associated with increasing levels of preoperative creatinine (RR = 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2 to 1.8; p = 0.001 for each 1.0 mg/dl increment in baseline creatinine level), and inversely related to early postoperative improvement in creatinine level (RR = 0.41; 95% CI, 0.2 to 0.9; p = 0.04).


Intervention before major deterioration in renal function and an aggressive posture toward the frequently associated coronary artery disease are necessary to improve long-term results when RAR is performed for renal function salvage.

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