RENAL ARTERY DISEASE

What is Renal Artery Disease?

Plaque build up can occur anywhere in the body including the arteries supplying the kidneys. Alternatively, the muscle in the artery wall can grow abnormally, constricting/narrowing the renal artery. When significant blockage or narrowing occurs in these arteries, there is decreased blood flow to the kidneys resulting in abnormal regulation of blood pressure and fluid; significantly decreased flow in one artery is usually well tolerated, but narrowing of both arteries can result in significant problems.

What are the Signs/Symptoms of Renal Artery Stenosis?

Signs and symptoms of renal artery stenosis include: 

  • Early onset high blood pressure

  • Difficult to control blood pressure

  • Sudden increase in blood pressure previously well-controlled

  • Sudden fluid in the lungs resulting in congestion and shortness of breath

  • Increased protein in the urine

  • Decreased kidney function, sometimes during treatment for high blood pressure

How is Renal Artery Stenosis Treated?

Treatment for renal artery stenosis due to plaque build up focuses on risk factor modification and medication to prevent additional blockage from occurring. In cases of early onset high blood pressure, difficult to control blood pressure, fluid in the lungs, and decreased kidney function, balloon angioplasty and/or stenting of the renal arteries may be indicated. In rare instances, renal artery bypass is performed.

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