Value of Doppler ultrasound for the diagnosis of renal artery stenosis in children
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To evaluate the reliability of Doppler ultrasonography (US) in identifying children with renal artery stenosis (RAS) among those with hypertension, we compared Doppler US results in 22 hypertensive children (mean age 8.9±4.3 years), with (13 cases) and without RAS at angiography, and in 33 normotensive children (mean age 8.8±4.7 years). We observed 2 false-negatives and 2 false-positives with Doppler US. Of the 2 false-negative diagnoses, 1 had RAS on an accessory renal artery located behind a normal upper polar artery and the other was observed in a patient with bilateral multiple stenosis of the very distal segments of renal arteries. The 2 false-positive diagnoses were due to sinuous left renal artery and to technical reasons, respectively. In another patient, Doppler US showed a tight RAS, while arteriography was normal. RAS was subsequently confirmed by a second arteriography. Peak systolic velocity values of Doppler US were significantly higher in patients with proven angiographic RAS (3.44±0.66 m/s) than in hypertensive patients with normal renal arteries at angiography (0.99±0.35 m/s, P <0.0001) and normotensive healthy children (1.04±0.23 m/s, P <0.0001). With the use of multiple views, and the experience acquired with practice, false-negatives or false-positives due to the geometry of the renal artery can be avoided. Nevertheless, very distal stenosis can be missed by Doppler US.
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