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Diagnostic Role of Renal Doppler Ultrasound and Plasma Renin Activity as Screening Tools for Renovascular Hypertension in Children

Seunghyun Lee, Young Hun Choi, Yeon Jin Cho, Jung-Eun Cheon, Ji Eun Park, Woo Sun Kim, In-One Kim
Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine: Official Journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 2019 February 18

OBJECTIVES: The diagnostic role of an ultrasound (US) and plasma renin activity (PRA) combination is unknown, despite the usefulness of Doppler US as a screening tool for renovascular hypertension (RVHT). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic usefulness of US for RVHT in children stratified according to PRA.

METHODS: We identified 336 children who underwent renal Doppler US examinations for hypertension and divided them into a high-renin group (n = 177) and a normal-renin group (n = 159) based on PRA and stratified them by age. The Doppler US findings were retrospectively reviewed, and computed tomographic angiography (CTA) for the same children was used as the reference standard.

RESULTS: In the high-renin group, 36 patients had positive Doppler US findings that were confirmed by CTA in 32 cases. The sensitivity and specificity values for Doppler US in the high-renin group were 84.2% and 93.6%, respectively. In the normal-renin group, 10 patients had positive Doppler US findings; these positive findings were confirmed by CTA in 9 cases. The sensitivity and specificity values for US in the normal-renin group were 100.0% and 100.0%. There were anatomic variations (n = 3) and segmental artery stenosis (n = 2) among the cases with false-negative US findings, which were confirmed by CTA.

CONCLUSIONS: If patients have high PRA, a Doppler US examination should be performed with caution to avoid false-negative detection. If patients have normal PRA, renal Doppler US might be adequate for diagnosis of RVHT to avoid unnecessary CTA.

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