[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 26, 1987

Rupture of the Renal Artery After Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Virginia Richmond

Medical College of Virginia Richmond

JAMA. 1987;257(24):3364-3365. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390240070022

To the Editor.—  Drs Olin and Wholey1 reported a delayed and fatal complication that occurred nine days after percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty (PTRA).We believe that there are probably many factors that may have caused this catastrophic complication and hasten to comment so that the potential benefits of the procedure are not overlooked. The ballon used may have been too large: we have taken measurements from the illustrations in the article. The main renal artery just distal to the occlusion in Fig 2 measures 2 mm in diameter. However, the inflated ballon in Fig 3 measures 4 mm in diameter. The magnification factor is minimal when one compares these two illustrations (the height of the L-2 vertebral body in Fig 2 is 11 mm while the one in Fig 3 is 13 mm). Utilizing all these figures, we calculate that the actual diameter of the renal artery on the