Renal Artery Disease

The renal arteries supply blood to the kidneys. When they become partially or completely blocked kidney failure and/or high blood pressure may occur. Renal artery blockage is the most common cause of secondary high blood pressure.

Risks

What puts you at risk for renal artery blockage?

  • Tobacco use
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol level
  • Being overweight
  • Personal history of PVD

Signs and Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of renal artery blockage?

  • Blood pressure not controlled by diet, exercise and medication
  • Suddenly uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • New onset of high blood pressure particularly in a younger person
  • Renal artery bruit (noise heard over the abdomen that your doctor can hear with a stethoscope)

Diagnosis

How is renal artery blockage diagnosed?

  • History and physical exam
  • Renal artery ultrasound
  • Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
  • Arteriogram/Angiogram

Treatment

How is renal artery blockage treated?

Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and the degree and type of blockage but may include:

  • Medical management
  • Risk factor reduction
  • Medication
  • Stent
  • Surgery