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 Impact of Favorable Blood Pressure in Renal Artery Stenting Explored

Clinical variables and kidney morphologic features serve as predictors of successful surgery  

April 28, 2011    Contact: Sue Crosson-Knutson     312-334-2311

CHICAGO - A retrospective study in the May 2011 issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery®, the official publication of the Society for Vascular Surgery®, examines clinical and kidney morphologic features that predict a favorable blood pressure (BP) response to renal artery stenting (RAS). Clinicians in the departments of surgery and radiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and its affiliated hospitals performed RAS on 149 patients (185 arteries, 36 being bilateral) between January 1, 2000, and July 1, 2008. The median age of the cohort was 68 years and median follow-up was 19 months.

Co-author J. Gregory Modrall, MD, from the department of surgery at the Center explained that patients were categorized as “responders” based on modified American Heart Association guidelines: BP less than 160/90 mm Hg if on fewer antihypertensive medications or a reduction of an average diastolic BP less than 90 mm Hg on the same medications. All other patients were deemed “nonresponders.”

Researchers found during a multivariate analysis that three preoperative clinical variables—four or more blood pressure medications, diastolic BP of more than 90 mm Hg and clonidine use may be useful predictors of BP response to RAS, whereas patients with none of these predictors present before stenting are highly unlikely to respond to RAS with improved BP (response rate of 1.5 percent).

A favorable BP response to RAS was observed in 50 of 149 patients. After RAS the 50 responders had a median decrease in systolic BP of 33 mm Hg and a median decrease in diastolic BP of 15 mm. The BP response rate varied significantly based on the number of predictors present per patient.  With one predictor, the BP response rate rose to 45 percent; with two or more predictors had at least a 76 percent probability of response. 

Renal volume was estimated as kidney length x width x depth/2 based on preoperative computed tomography or magnetic resonance scans. During the study, 86 of the 149 patients had preoperative contrast enhanced computer tomography or magnetic resonance scans to measure parameters of kidney morphology.

“Kidney volume may help in discriminating responders from nonresponders among patient subsets who are marginal candidates for stenting,” said Dr. Modrall.  He said that among those patients with 3-drug hypertension a larger ipsilateral kidney (volume greater than 50 cm3) increased the BP response rate more than threefold compared with patients with smaller kidneys (63 percent vs. 18 percent BP response rate).
Dr. Modrall added that being cognizant of these predictors of BP response may assist clinicians in patient selection and provide more concrete data with which to counsel patients on the likely outcomes for RAS.
About Journal of Vascular Surgery®
Journal of Vascular Surgery® provides vascular, cardiothoracic and general surgeons with the most recent information in vascular surgery. Original, peer-reviewed articles cover clinical and experimental studies, noninvasive diagnostic techniques, processes and vascular substitutes, microvascular surgical techniques, angiography and endovascular management. Special issues publish papers presented at the annual meeting of the Journal's sponsoring society, the Society for Vascular Surgery®. Visit the Journal Web site at

About the Society for Vascular Surgery
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,370 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at® and follow SVS on Facebook and Twitter.

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