Not enough evidence to support surgery for narrowed kidney arteries

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 13, 2006

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A growing number of patients are having surgery to treat renal artery stenosis, but available evidence does not show an advantage of this strategy over medication alone, according to a systematic review by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality published in the Annals of Internal Medicine online last month and due in print Dec. 19.

Researchers analyzed prospective studies of patients with this condition who underwent either revascularization or medication by itself. The selected studies reported mortality, kidney function, blood pressure, cardiovascular events and other events for at least six months after the end of the project.

Authors could not find strong evidence to support either strategy, although the studies did suggest that there was no significant difference in mortality rates or kidney-related outcomes for either approach. Some evidence did support the possibility that angioplasty could lead to better blood pressure control, but researchers noted that evidence was lacking that could determine who would benefit the most from which intervention.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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