Renal artery interventions could damage kidneys

October 1, 2007

A Wake Forest University study has confirmed that plaque fragments released during renal artery revascularization could impair kidney function. Findings suggest physicians may need to rethink how to perform these procedures safely.

A Wake Forest University study has confirmed that plaque fragments released during renal artery revascularization could impair kidney function. Findings suggest physicians may need to rethink how to perform these procedures safely.

Dr. Matthew Edwards and colleagues assessed 28 patients who underwent renal artery angioplasty and stenting between July 2005 and December 2006. The investigators used a protective device to keep plaque fragments from passing through the vessel. Blood samples taken from the occluded area carried embolic particles large enough to disrupt renal function (J Vasc Surg 2007;46[1]:55-61).

Findings showed a statistically significant association between stent size and the release of potentially hazardous particles. Aspirin, on the other hand, helped reduce debris counts. Researchers could not establish the true role protective devices play in this setting.