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The contrast-enhanced Doppler ultrasound with perfluorocarbon exposed sonicated albumin does not improve the diagnosis of renal artery stenosis compared with angiography

Odila UN Teixeira, Luiz A Bortolotto* and Hélio Bernardes Silva

Author Affiliations

Hypertension Unity, Heart Institute (InCor), São Paulo Medical School, Brazil

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Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine 2004, 3:3  doi:10.1186/1477-5751-3-3

Published: 20 September 2004


There are no studies investigating the effect of the contrast infusion on the sensitivity and specificity of the main Doppler criteria of renal artery stenosis (RAS). Our aim was to evaluate the accuracy of these Doppler criteria prior to and following the intravenous administration of perfluorocarbon exposed sonicated albumin (PESDA) in patients suspected of having RAS. Thirty consecutive hypertensive patients (13 males, mean age of 57 ± 10 years) suspected of having RAS by clinical clues, were submitted to ultrasonography (US) of renal arteries before and after enhancement using continuous infusion of PESDA. All patients underwent angiography, and haemodynamically significant RAS was considered when ≥50%. At angiography, it was detected RAS ≥50% in 18 patients, 5 with bilateral stenosis. After contrast, the examination time was slightly reduced by approximately 20%. In non-enhanced US the sensitivity was better when based on resistance index (82.9%) while the specificity was better when based on renal aortic ratio (89.2%). The predictive positive value was stable for all indexes (74.0%–88.0%) while negative predictive value was low (44%–51%). The specificity and positive predictive value based on renal aortic ratio increased after PESDA injection respectively, from 89 to 97.3% and from 88 to 95%. In hypertensives suspected to have RAS the sensitivity and specificity of Duplex US is dependent of the criterion evaluated. Enhancement with continuous infusion of PESDA improves only the specificity based on renal aortic ratio but do not modify the sensitivity of any index.

renal artery stenosis; ultrasound; PESDA; angiography; hypertension