How to diagnose renal artery stenosis correctly using ultrasound? Evaluation of results of renal arteries duplex ultrasonography examinations

Rong Zhu, Zhonghui Xu, Zhenhong QI, We YE, Jian Wang, Jing Kong, Jin Jin, Jianchu Li

Abstract


Aim: Renal artery duplex ultrasonography (RDU) is an effective and non-invasive screening test in diagnosing renal artery stenosis. The discordance of results in multiple RDU is common. We aim to evaluate the discordance and the reasons for discordance between diagnoses and measurements from multiple RDU examinations.

Material and method: A retrospective study was performed in 64 examinations of renal arteries from 32 patients that were referred for two or more RDU examinations and renal artery digital subtraction angiography (DSA) within six months, between August 2013 and January 2016. Using DSA as gold standard, we divided the renal arteries into three groups: discordant (one diagnosis of RDU was correct and one was wrong), misdiagnosed (neither RDU diagnosis was correct) and correct (both RDU diagnoses were correct) groups.
We evaluated the discordance and reasons for discordance of diagnoses and measurements from multiple RDU examinations. 

Results: Among 64 renal arteries included in this study, 37 renal arteries had two correct diagnoses, 19 renal arteries had two discordant diagnoses, and eight renal arteries were misdiagnosed twice by RDU. The discordance of peak systolic velocity (PSV), the ratio between PSV in the renal artery with stenosis and PSV in the aorta (RAR), and tardus-parvus waveform measurements were clearly higher in the discordant diagnoses group than in the correctly diagnosed group. The most common reason for a discordant diagnosis was failure in obtaining correct tardus-parvus waveforms of the interlobar artery (26.31%). The
most common reason for misdiagnosis was the presence of an extremely severe stenosis with an atrophic kidney (31.25%). Overall, 87.50% of patients underwent RDU examinations had correct diagnoses of stenosis or occlusion at least once (including location and degree), as confirmed by DSA.

Conclusions: Our study indicates that standard operating procedures and improvements in examination technique by ultrasound doctors could reduce the discordance between multiple tests. 


Keywords


renal artery stenosis; duplex ultrasonography; misdiagnosis; discordance

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11152/mu-1341

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