Atheroembolic renal disease: association with renal arterial stenosis

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In elderly patients with generalized atherosclerosis and longstanding hypertension, progressive renal insufficiency should suggest renal artery occlusive disease and/or renal cholesterol embolization. Renal cholesterol embolization is not an absolute contraindication to successful surgical revascularization. Renal cholesterol emboli were identified in biopsy specimens obtained in 24 cases at the Cleveland Clinic from 1978 to 1986, and renal artery stenosis was an associated finding in 19. Clinical manifestations of generalized atherosclerosis were common, including ileofemoral atherosclerosis (18), coronary artery disease (16), carotid occlusive disease (15), and carotid occlusive disease with a history of stroke (8). Evidence of embolic events in other organs was common. Hypertension worsened before biopsy in 21 patients with and without renal artery stenosis. Surgery or angiography definitely or probably contributed to renal failure in 16. Of 12 who underwent surgical revascularization of a renal artery, renal function inproved in five, remained stable in five, and worsened in one. Renal function improved in the three patients undergoing dialysis before revascularization, and two were able to discontinue dialysis.



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