alexa Anatomic assessment of sympathetic peri-arterial renal nerves in man
Nephrology

Nephrology

Journal of Kidney

Author(s): Sakakura K, Ladich E, Cheng Q, Otsuka F, Yahagi K

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BACKGROUND: Although renal sympathetic denervation therapy has shown promising results in patients with resistant hypertension, the human anatomy of peri-arterial renal nerves is poorly understood. OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to investigate the anatomic distribution of peri-arterial sympathetic nerves around human renal arteries. METHODS: Bilateral renal arteries were collected from human autopsy subjects, and peri-arterial renal nerve anatomy was examined by using morphometric software. The ratio of afferent to efferent nerve fibers was investigated by dual immunofluorescence staining using antibodies targeted for anti-tyrosine hydroxylase and anti-calcitonin gene-related peptide. RESULTS: A total of 10,329 nerves were identified from 20 (12 hypertensive and 8 nonhypertensive) patients. The mean individual number of nerves in the proximal and middle segments was similar (39.6 ± 16.7 per section and 39.9 ± 1 3.9 per section), whereas the distal segment showed fewer nerves (33.6 ± 13.1 per section) (p = 0.01). Mean subject-specific nerve distance to arterial lumen was greatest in proximal segments (3.40 ± 0.78 mm), followed by middle segments (3.10 ± 0.69 mm), and least in distal segments (2.60 ± 0.77 mm) (p < 0.001). The mean number of nerves in the ventral region (11.0 ± 3.5 per section) was greater compared with the dorsal region (6.2 ± 3.0 per section) (p < 0.001). Efferent nerve fibers were predominant (tyrosine hydroxylase/calcitonin gene-related peptide ratio 25.1 ± 33.4; p < 0.0001). Nerve anatomy in hypertensive patients was not considerably different compared with nonhypertensive patients. CONCLUSIONS: The density of peri-arterial renal sympathetic nerve fibers is lower in distal segments and dorsal locations. There is a clear predominance of efferent nerve fibers, with decreasing prevalence of afferent nerves from proximal to distal peri-arterial and renal parenchyma. Understanding these anatomic patterns is important for refinement of renal denervation procedures.

This article was published in Journal of The American college of cardiology and referenced in Journal of Kidney

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