Changes in renal artery dimensions are associated with clinical response to radiofrequency renal denervation: a series of studies using quantitative angiography and intravascular ultrasound

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Abstract

Objective:

Renal denervation (RDN) can cause focal (notches) and global (spasms) changes in renal artery dimensions. We quantified these changes and related them to renal norepinephrin tissue content in animals and to blood pressure (BP) changes in patients.

Methods:

We measured renal artery dimensions pre-RDN and post-RDN, utilizing quantitative renal angiography (QRA) in a porcine model and in a retrospective patient cohort, and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) in a prospective patient cohort. Focal and global measurements were minimum and mean diameter/area/volume with QRA, minimum lumen/vessel/wall area and volume with IVUS. BP was assessed with 24-h ambulatory monitoring, norepinephrin content with liquid chromatography.

Results:

In 36 pigs treated unilaterally with RDN, norepinephrin content of the treated right kidney was 48.2% of the untreated left kidney. QRA measurements following RDN were associated with norepinephrin content only of the (treated) right kidney. In the human QRA study (n = 43 patients), mean 24-h BP fell by 8/4 and 12/6 mmHg at 1 and 12 months, respectively. More pronounced changes in QRA measurements were associated with a more pronounced BP drop. In multiple regression models, the change in minimum diameter was independently associated with BP changes at 12 months. In the prospective IVUS study (n = 17 patients), a larger decrease in minimum lumen/vessel area and larger increase of wall area/volume were associated with a larger BP drop.

Conclusion:

Focal and global changes in renal arteries following RDN can be quantified, using QRA or IVUS, and may serve as markers of a successful procedure.

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