The authors performed a retrospective study of their experience and complication rate while performing outpatient percutaneous transluminal renal artery angioplasty (PTRA) during a 5-year period.
From July 1992 to July 1997, 87 PTRAs were performed. Of these, 62 PTRA procedures were performed on 53 outpatients. In total, 66 arteries were dilated in 62 PTRA sessions using standard, established techniques. During the same period, only 25 PTRAs were performed on inpatients. Angioplasties were performed on those patients with demonstrated renal artery stenosis and poorly controlled hypertension and/or renal failure. Patients chosen for PTRA were picked by a team that included a vascular surgeon, a nephrologist, and a radiologist. Patients who were deemed suitable for an outpatient procedure were recommended by a nephrologist. Radiological input was sought at that time. Specific guidelines were used to select these patients who were otherwise healthy, well-orientated, and able to respond to an emergency situation. None of the subjects had significant risk factors. All were accompanied by an adult for the first 24 hours and all lived no more than an hour's travel time from a hospital. All were stable on discharge and were seen within 24 hours by a nephrologist.
The technical success rate, defined as a residual stenosis on imaging of less than 30% and/or by a pressure gradient of less than 10 mm Hg across the stenosis, was 85%. The early complication rate was 5.6%, including two patients who developed a localized hematoma. In all, four patients were admitted to the hospital rather than being discharged to home after an average of 4.2 hours of observation. The late complication rate was 3% and involved two patients. One patient, who reported pain after balloon deflation, was readmitted 6 hours after discharge with hypotension, and a diagnosis of renal artery rupture was confirmed with computed tomography. Another patient developed peripheral atheroemboli 20 days after the procedure.
Outpatient PTRA can be performed on selected patients. In this study, late complications occurred in only 3% of patients. Early complications were readily recognized in 5.6% of patients, and these patients were admitted for observation after the procedure.