Background Statement

What is ARAS?

ARAS stands for Atherosclerotic Renal Artery Stenosis (ARAS). It describes the narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys. ARAS is usually caused by a buildup of plaque that clings to the walls of the artery, limiting the flow of blood to the kidneys. ARAS can lead to high blood pressure, kidney damage, cardiac disease, stroke, and death.

ARAS is often present among patients with risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It’s estimated that 10.5% of patients undergoing coronary angiography and 54% of patients with congestive heart failure have ARAS. Older patients have higher rates of ARAS as well; among persons aged 66 years or older, 6.8% have been found to have ARAS.

ARAS can be treated with a range of medications—including aggressive blood pressure (BP) control, statins, and antiplatelets— but the current standard of treatment combines medical therapy with “Percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty with stent placement” (PTRAS) where doctors use a small balloon and a stent to clear plaque from the artery. Use of PTRAS has decreased from its peak in 2006 but remains common at 6.7 procedures per 100,000 adults.1