Diagnostic usefulness of renal scanning after angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors.
Radioisotopic renal scanning after angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition (ACEI) has proven to be an exciting area for research. The biologic activity of markers such as DTPA and hippuran, when combined with the physiological effects of ACEI, may provide noninvasive methods of diagnosing both renal artery stenosis and renovascular hypertension. Recent investigators have demonstrated that the sensitivities and specificities of these tests may vary widely; these differences are probably due to variations in study design, patient population, diagnostic criteria, and outcome measurements. We have reviewed these studies and discuss these possible sources of variation and their impact on the clinical usefulness of these diagnostic tests, especially in relation to the prevalence of disease in the population. Current results suggest that the post-ACEI DTPA scan is relatively accurate in the diagnosis of renal artery stenosis, with sensitivity generally greater than 90% and specificity around 95%. However, the best results in predicting the response to angioplasty or surgery in patients with renal artery stenosis have been with the use of post-ACEI hippuran in combination with furosemide (sensitivity, 96%; specificity, 95%). With confirmation of these findings and continued investigation, it is expected that accurate noninvasive tests will be available for widespread clinical use in the near future.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association