Renal Artery Stenosis (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
Renal artery narrowing can be detected with ultrasound or computerized tomography angiography or arteriography.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to visualize anatomic structures, and with special techniques, can approximate the amount of blood flowing through the renal artery to the kidney.
Computerized tomography (CT) will show all the blood vessels in the abdomen as well as the other organs. The intravenous dye used may have the potential to cause some kidney damage.
Arteriography is the most invasive, since a catheter or small tube needs to be threaded through the arteries in the groin into the renal arteries and dye injected. This test will give the best opportunity to decide how much narrowing there is and if it is found, angioplasty and stenting may be done as part of the treatment. (see Treatment, below)
The benefit and risk of each procedure needs to be assessed for each patient to decide what would be most appropriate in a given situation.
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