To assess the effects of transplant renal artery stenosis (TRAS) on blood pressure, renal function, and graft survival. To assess the usefulness of Doppler in predicting the clinical significance of TRAS and also to identify the predictive factors in Doppler that correlated with clinical features of TRAS.
Materials and Methods:
A prospective study was done on consecutive renal allograft recipients at Christian Medical College, over a period of 66 months from January 2002. All recipients underwent Doppler ultrasound (DUS) evaluation on the fifth post-operative day. Subsequent evaluation was done if the patients had any clinical or biochemical suspicion of TRAS. Angiogram was done in case of a high index of suspicion of significant stenosis or before angioplasty and stenting. The clinical and radiological outcomes of the patients with symptomatic or asymptomatic TRAS were analyzed.
Five hundred and forty three consecutive renal allograft recipients were analyzed, of whom, 43 were found to have TRAS. Nine recipients (21%) were detected to have TRAS on first evaluation. All had a high peak systolic velocities (PSV) recorded while 25 of them had other associated features. Patients with only high PSV required no further intervention and were followed up. They had a pretransplant mean arterial pressure (MAP) of 107.83 mmHg (SD = 13.32), ranging from 90 to 133 mm Hg and a posttransplant MAP of 106.56 mmHg (SD =16.51), ranging from 83 to 150 mm Hg. Their mean nadir serum creatinine was 1.16 mg% (SD = 0.24), at detection was 1.6 mg% (SD = 1.84) and at 6 months follow-up was 1.26 mg% (SD=0.52). Of the remaining 25 patients with other associated Doppler abnormalities, 11 required further intervention in the form of re-exploration in 2, angioplasty in 3 and stenting in 6 patients. One patient in the group of patients intervened, expired in the immediate post-operative period due to overwhelming urosepsis and consumption coagulopathy. The mean creatinine clearance (Cockroft-Gault method) in this group of remaining 10 patients, before and after intervention was 44.75 ml/min (SD=17.85) and 68.96 ml/min (SD = 10.56), respectively, with a mean increase by 24.21 ml/min (P=0.000). The mean arterial pressure before and after intervention in this group were 132.80 mm Hg (SD = 13.22) and 102 mm Hg (SD = 10.55), with a decline in the MAP by 30.80 mmHg (P=0.017). The haemoglobin levels also increased from 11.72 (SD=2.13) to 12.48 gm% (SD = 1.75), with a mean increase by 0.76 gm% (P=0.05).
Patients with isolated high PSV do not have a significant alteration of blood pressure or allograft function and required no intervention. Although high PSV with associated Doppler anomalies are more suggestive of significant TRAS, the decision regarding surgical intervention is largely based on clinical assessment.