Renovascular hypertension, the type seen in approximately 4% of the hypertensive population in this country,1 poses the double threat of severe hypertension (with its complications) and progressive renal insufficiency. Pharmacotherapy, surgical revascularization, or both, the traditional modes of treatment, have significant shortcomings. Drugs often only partially control blood pressure (BP); when several are used, side effects and poor patient compliance can become a problem.2-4 Surgery requires general anesthesia, and many patients are poor risks because of severe diffuse atherosclerotic disease or renal insufficiency. Moreover, the results of surgery vary; there is considerable morbidity, and the mortality is 5.9%.5 Despite these shortcomings, therapy can have significant benefits.6,7
A third therapeutic modality, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), is presently undergoing evaluation. Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty is not a new procedure. It was originally developed by Dotter and Judkins8 for the treatment of atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease. The procedure was
Tegtmeyer CJ. Percutaneous Transluminal Renal Angioplasty: The Evolution of a Procedure. Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(6):1085–1087. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340190041004
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