New Findings Avoid Stenting Procedures When Treating Renal Artery Stenosis
Bethesda, MD - A commonly used stenting procedure to treat plaque build-up in the renal artery appears to offer no significant improvement when added to medication-based therapy, according to results from a National Institutes of Health-funded study. The narrowing and hardening of one or both renal arteries, known as renal artery stenosis, occurs in 1 to 5 percent of people who have high blood pressure, or hypertension.
The findings were presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) 2013 Scientific Sessions in Dallas today and appeared concurrently in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Renal artery stenosis can lead to conditions such as chronic kidney disease and can appear alongside conditions including coronary artery disease. Effective treatment of renal artery stenosis can improve blood pressure control, stabilize kidney function, and reduce incidence of serious cardiovascular events.
"Demonstrating the ineffectiveness of certain medical procedures can be as valuable as proving the effectiveness of treatment techniques," said Dr. Michael Lauer, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which supported the study. "The findings from this study could help change clinical practice by encouraging health care providers to avoid unnecessary stenting procedures when treating renal artery stenosis."
According to the study’s researchers, between 1996 and 2000, there was a 364 percent jump in renal artery stenting procedures for Medicare beneficiaries. The procedure involves inserting a metal mesh tube into an artery to open the clogged passageway. An estimated 78 million Americans have hypertension, according to the AHA, and as many as 3.9 million people in the United States may have renal artery stenosis. Continue>
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