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Opening blocked kidney arteries no better than medication alone


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American Heart Association Late-Breaking Clinical Trial Report LBCT 4/Abstract: 19524 (Ballrooms C1 & C2)

Study Highlights:

  • Opening blocked arteries to the kidney didn’t help patients any more than medication alone.
  • The rate of death for heart- and kidney- related disease complications was the same among patients who received the stents and medical treatment and those who received only medication.

Embargoed until 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET Monday, Nov. 18, 2013
This release is featured in an embargoed media briefing at 1:45 p.m. CT, Monday, Nov. 18.
DALLAS, Nov. 18, 2013 — Opening narrowed arteries to the kidney didn’t help patients any more than taking medicine alone, according to a late-breaking clinical trial presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

In the Cardiovascular Outcomes in Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions (CORAL) trial, 947 patients with renal artery stenosis, in the setting of chronic kidney diseases or high blood pressure were randomly assigned to receive standard combination medical therapy for blood pressure, cholesterol and drugs to prevent blood clotting alone, or these medications combined with a vessel-opening procedure.

The rate of death and other serious complications, including heart attack, stroke, or hospitalization for heart or kidney disease, was comparable between treatment methods. Complications occurred in 35.8 percent of the medication-only group, and in 35.1 percent of the combined-treatment group, not a significant difference.

Renal artery stenosis, which affects nearly three million people in the United States, can cause high blood pressure and kidney failure, and is associated with heart and blood-vessel disease and death.

Standard treatment includes medication to decrease high blood pressure and cholesterol, combined with a procedure in which a small balloon is inserted into the clogged blood vessel and inflated to open it. A small, wire-mesh tube (stent) often is inserted to help keep the vessel open.

“Stenting of atherosclerotic renal stenosis has been reasonable, despite several negative studies, because other studies suggested it might lower blood pressure and stabilize kidney function,” said Christopher J. Cooper, M.D., the study’s lead author and professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Toledo, Ohio. “But in our study, opening narrowed kidney arteries with stents provided no additional benefit when added to medications that lower blood pressure, control cholesterol levels and block substances involved in blood clotting.”

Co-authors are Timothy P. Murphy, M.D.; Donald E. Cutlip, M.D.; Kenneth Jamerson, M.D.; William Henrich, M.D.; Diane M. Reid; David J. Cohen, M.D., M.Sc.; Alan H. Matsumoto, M.D.; Michael Steffes, M.D.; Michael R. Jaff, D.O., M.D.; Martin R. Prince, M.D., Ph.D.; Eldrin F. Lewis, M.D.; Katherine R. Tuttle, M.D.; Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., M.P.H.; John H. Rundback, M.D.; Joseph M. Massaro, Ph.D.; Ralph B. D’Agostino, Sr., Ph.D. and Lance D. Dworkin, M.D., Disclosures

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, funded the study.

For more news from AHA Scientific Sessions 2013, follow @HeartNews #AHA13 on Twitter.


Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position.  The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.  The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content.  Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at

Note: Actual presentation is 4:51 p.m. CT/5:51 p.m. ET, Monday, Nov. 18 in Ballrooms C1 & C2.

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