Renovascular Disease

Renovascular disease is the blockage or narrowing within the renal arteries or veins, the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the kidneys. The arteries are affected much more commonly than the veins. Renovascular disease can cause kidney damage or kidney failure. This condition occurs most often in older patients, although young women may also be at risk for a certain type of renovascular disease called fibromuscular dysplasia.

Causes of Renovascular Disease

Causes for renovascular disease may vary depending on the type of condition. Common causes may include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High Cholesterol
  • Kidney Disorders

Types of Renovascular Disease

Types of renovascular disease may include:

  • Renal artery stenosis, the blockage of an artery to the kidneys
  • Renal artery thrombosis, the formation of a clot in a renal artery
  • Renal vein thrombosis, the formation of a clot in a renal vein
  • Renal artery aneurysm, a weakened area in the wall of an artery to the kidney
  • Atheroembolic renal disease, a piece of plaque blocks the renal artery
  • Fibromuscular dysplasia, an abnormal cell development which causes narrowing of the wall of a renal artery

Symptoms of Renovascular Disease

Patients who suffer from these conditions may experience common symptoms which may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion or anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Flank pain
  • Puffy eyes, hands or feet
  • Nausea and vomiting

Diagnosis of Renovascular Disease

Renovascular disease can be diagnosed through a complete physical examination and a full review of symptoms and medical history. Additional tests may include:

  • Angiogram or X-ray of the blood vessels
  • Ultrasound
  • Kidney function test
  • MRI

Treatment for Renovascular Disease

If left untreated, renovascular disease can lead to a heart attack, kidney damage, loss of vision or a stroke. Treatment may include medications to dissolve blood clots, or a procedure such as balloon angioplasty or insertion of a stent to clear the blockage and restore normal blood flow. Patients can reduce their risk of developing this disease by managing conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. It is important for patients to seek proper medical treatment for this condition in order to reduce the risk of complications.

Additional Resources