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Heart Disease – Renal Angiogram

February 3, 2021


A renal angiogram is done on a patient where the physician suspects a blockage of the kidney arteries and blockages of the kidney arteries, if they’re on both sides, could lead to progressive kidney failure. But if it’s on one side, we all know that the other kidney can do the job, because transplant patients only get one kidney and the donor is left with one kidney. But when you have a single kidney artery blocked, what could happen is that that kidney senses low blood pressure. And it constantly wants to improve the blood flow, but because of a fixed blockage, the blood flow doesn’t improve. So that kidney keeps releasing hormones to raise the blood pressure. So these patients will have uncontrolled high blood pressure on multiple medications. So then the doctor says, could this person have what we call renal, kidney, artery, stenosis, narrowing. And if that’s suspected, then they are referred for an ultrasound to confirm or angiography to definitively rule it out, or often both because the ultrasound shows the blockage, and then the doctor goes in and tries to identify the blockage. And what we can do as part of renal angiography is once we diagnose the blockage, we can balloon and often stent that artery. And once we do that, the flow becomes normalized. The hormonal feedback is corrected and the patient’s blood pressure control is much easier.

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