Severe hyperreninemic hypertension associated with spontaneous renal cholesterol crystal embolization

Masami Tanaka, Koichi Matsuo, Hiroyuki Shoda, Shigeto Takami, Mitsuhide Naruse, Kimihiko Matsuyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A 70-year-old man was admitted because of severe hypertension and renal insufficiency. Marked elevation in plasma renin activity (PRA; 34.2 ng/ml per h) was noted. Five days later, the patient developed hemorrhagic duodenal ulcers and panperitonitis, went into shock, and died. An autopsy revealed severe atherosclerosis with marked ulceration in the abdominal aorta. Renal histology showed multiple cholesterol crystal embolization (CCE) associated with infarction. Cholesterol crystals were also detected in the vessels of the gastrointestinal system, including the liver, stomach, colon, and pancreas. Although not common, spontaneous CCE should be considered in elderly patients who present with abrupt onset of severe hypertension associated with renal insufficiency. The most important finding in this patient was severe hyperreninemia. Although potentiation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is the suggested mechanism for the hypertension in renal CCE, we could not find any reported case of renal CCE with hyperreninemia. It is reasonable to consider that severe hyperreninemia might be overlooked in renal CCE. PRA should be measured in patients with renal CCE, because it may give important information for selecting antihypertensive agents and improving the prognosis. To clarify this possibility, an accumulation of similar cases is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-154
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and experimental nephrology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Penetrating duodenal ulcers
  • Renal insufficiency
  • Renovascular hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nephrology
  • Physiology (medical)


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