Renal Artery Disease
Renal Artery Stenosis
Renal artery stenosis is the narrowing of one or both arteries that carry blood to the two kidneys. Renal artery stenosis can cause high blood pressure and reduce kidney function, leading to kidney failure.
Causes & Symptoms
In the majority of cases, renal artery stenosis is caused by atherosclerosis, hardening of the kidney arteries.
Symptoms of renal artery stenosis may include:
- Sudden onset of hypertension
- Hypertension not responsive to three or more blood pressure medications
- Increased urea (waste product excreted by the kidneys) in the blood
- Unexplained kidney failure
- Sudden kidney failure upon first taking an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor medication
- Reoccurrence of flash pulmonary edema (FPE)
Diagnosis & Treatment of Renal Artery Stenosis
An ultrasound or angiogram may be used to get an accurate image of the artery. Additional diagnostics can include CT scan and magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA).
The most common treatment for renal artery stenosis is angioplasty with stenting. Other treatment options may include:
- Endarterectomy: In an endarterectomy, a vascular surgeon cleans out the plaque, leaving the inside lining of the artery smooth and clear.
- Bypass surgery: To create a bypass, a vascular surgeon uses a vein or synthetic tube to connect the kidney to the aorta. This new path serves as an alternate route for blood to flow around the blocked artery into the kidney.