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Renovascular disease: Doppler ultrasound

Seminars in Ultrasound CT and MRI
Elsevier - WB Saunders
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0887-2171(97)90058-5
  • Medicine


Abstract Color Doppler ultrasound (CDUS) seems to be an effective imaging technique for the diagnosis of renal vascular diseases. It is already the modality of choice for the detection of acute renal vein thrombosis and nonocclusive intrarenal vascular disorders including iatrogenic arteriovenous fistula and false aneurysm, particularly in patients with impaired renal function that precludes the use of iodinated contrast agents. Although proximal Doppler interrogation remains an important step in diagnosing renal artery (RA) stenosis, useful hemodynamic information can be obtained from the distal arterial bed. When CDUS fails in identifying proximal RAs, normal waveform velocity and morphology obtained from intrarenal arteries enable one to rule out RA occlusion and most of the severe stenoses (≥80%). Such information, which is not subject to a significant risk of technical failure, seems to be particularly useful in studying patients with acute renal failure of suspected vascular origin. Despite the extreme variability in reported performance between studies, CDUS has seemed to be a valuable tool compared with other noninvasive modalities in the diagnosis of RA stenosis. Whereas a CDUS-based strategy is already accepted in numerous specialized centers, a thorough evaluation of diagnostic criteria and extensive training of operators will allow CDUS to be widely accepted for the screening of patients at high risk for renovascular hypertension.

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