Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis: epidemiology, etiology, diagnostics and treatment

Paulius Burkauskas1, Karolina Baltrušaitytė1, Ernestas Margelis2 

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Academy of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania   

2Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas Clinics, Department of Surgery, Kaunas, Lithuania


Renal artery stenosis is a form of peripheral artery disease that occurs in 1-5% patients with arterial hypertension. Arterial atherosclerosis, which also occurs in other blood vessels, has the greatest impact on the development of the renal artery stenosis. Narrowing of the renal artery activates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, which can cause patients to have high blood pressure that is difficult to correct with multiple medications. As the disease progresses, concentric hypertrophy of the left ventricle develops and, if decompensated, episodes of flash pulmonary edema may occur. Thus, renal artery stenosis affects not only the kidneys but also the entire cardiovascular system. 

Aim: to select and analyze expert presented causes, diagnostics and recommendations for the treatment of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis. 

Methods: the review of literature was conducted using the medical database, selecting publications investigating the burden of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis. 

Conclusions:  the most common cause of renal artery stenosis is atherosclerosis. The gold standard for the diagnosis of renal artery stenosis is direct renal artery angiography. The main method of treatment for atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis is medication.

Keywords:   peripheral arterial disease, hypertension, flash pulmonary edema, renal artery stenosis.