Renal angiography and renal angioplasty
A renal angiogram is an imaging test that uses x-rays and a special dye to see inside the arteries that supply the kidneys. The purpose is to diagnose and see any blockages or stenoses (narrowing).
Once an angiogram has been completed, and a blockage or stenosis has been confirmed, if it is appropriate, treatment can commence. Treatment options include angioplasty or stenting. Your interventional radiologist will determine which treatment is best suited for you and discuss the options during the consent process.
Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA) is the opening of a stenosed (narrowed) or blocked blood vessel using a balloon catheter. The balloon inflates to a specific size, forcing the blood vessel to expand.
In most cases the artery will remain open following the balloon inflation. Sometimes however, the artery does not respond well to a balloon catheter, and in that case, the next step would be to place a stent in the artery.
The images from a renal angioplasty look as follows:
If an angioplasty has been unsuccessful, or a recurrent stenosis persists, a stent will then be inserted so the artery can remain patent.
A stent used in the artery is a metal, mesh like tube made from either nitinol (nickel-titanium alloy) or cobalt chromium.