Renal atrophy and arterial stenosis. A prospective study with duplex ultrasound.
Renal artery disease is an important cause of both renal failure and hypertension. Duplex ultrasound is a reliable noninvasive method for classifying the severity of renal artery lesions and can be repeated to follow the course of the disease over time. The purpose of this study was to determine the changes in kidney size associated with various degrees of renal artery disease. Serial kidney lengths were measured as part of a prospective duplex ultrasound study of patients with renal artery narrowing. Fifty-four patients (22 men, 32 women; mean age, 65.8 years) with 101 renal artery and kidney sides eligible for follow-up were evaluated at 6-month intervals for an average of 14.4 months (range, 4 to 24 months). No kidneys with renal arteries classified as normal or less than 60% diameter stenosis by duplex criteria were found to have a decrease in length of greater than 1 cm during follow-up. In kidneys with a high-grade renal artery stenosis (> or = 60% diameter reduction), 26% (13 of 49 sides) were found to have a decrease in length of greater than 1 cm. The average decrease in length was 1.9 cm (range, 1.2 to 3.4 cm). By life table analysis, the estimated risk of a decrease in length of greater than 1 cm for kidneys with 60% stenosis or greater was 19% at 1 year. Loss of renal mass, as documented by ultrasound measurement of kidney length, is an important consequence of high-grade renal artery stenosis.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association