Managing acute presentations of atheromatous renal artery st
Atherosclerotic renovascular disease (ARVD) often follows an asymptomatic chronic course which may be undetected for many years. However, there are certain critical acute presentations associated with ARVD and these require a high index of suspicion for underlying high-grade RAS (renal artery stenosis) to improve patient outcomes. These acute presentations, which include decompensated heart failure syndromes, accelerated hypertension, rapidly declining renal function, and acute kidney injury (AKI), are usually associated with bilateral high-grade RAS (>70% stenosis), or high-grade RAS in a solitary functioning kidney in which case the contralateral kidney is supplied by a vessel demonstrating renal artery occlusion (RAO). These presentations are typically underrepresented in large, randomized control trials which to date have been largely negative in terms of the conferred benefit of revascularization.

The study included 9 individual patients with 3 classical presentations including accelerated phase hypertension, heart failure syndromes, AKI and a fourth category of patients who suffered recurrent presentations. We describe their response to renal revascularization. The predominant presentation was that consistent with ischaemic nephropathy all of whom had a positive outcome with revascularization. A high index of suspicion is required for the diagnosis of RAS in these instances so that timely revascularization can be undertaken to restore or preserve renal function and reduce the incidence of hospital admissions for heart failure syndromes.