Renal artery stenosis is potentially correctable by either revascularization surgery or percutaneous methods. However, appropriate use of these techniques has been hampered by a lack of data on the natural history of this disease. This study assesses the prevalence, risk factors for progression, and effect on renal function of angiographically demonstrated renal artery disease in patients undergoing cardiac catheterization.Methods
The severity of renal artery stenosis was quantified in all patients who underwent abdominal aortography as part of a diagnostic cardiac catheterization study at Duke University Medical Center between January 1989 and February 1996.Results
There were 14,152 patients in the study (mean age 61 ± 12 years, 62% male). Normal renal arteries were identified in 12,543 (88.7%) patients, insignificant disease (<50% stenosis) in 1 or more vessels in 726 patients (5.1%), and significant stenosis in 883 patients (6.3%). Significant bilateral renal artery stenosis was present in 178 patients (1.3%). By multivariate logistic regression, elevated serum creatinine level, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, older age, female sex, and family history of coronary artery disease were identified as independent predictors of significant renal arterial disease. Disease progression was assessed in 1189 patients. Mean time between cardiac catheterizations was 2.6 ± 1.6 years. Significant disease progression occurred in 133 patients (11.1%). Independent predictors of disease progression were female sex, age, coronary artery disease at baseline, and time between baseline and follow-up. At follow-up, serum creatinine level was significantly higher in patients who demonstrated ≥75% stenosis in 1 or more vessels (mean creatinine level 141 ± 114 µmol/L compared with those with insignificant disease (mean creatinine level 97 ± 44 µmol/L (P = .01).Conclusions
Renal artery disease is frequently progressive in patients who undergo cardiac catheterization for investigation of coronary artery disease. Significant stenotic disease may develop over a short period despite evidence of normal renal arteries at prior catheterization.