Renal artery stenosis occurs when the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the kidneys become stiff and begin to narrow, reducing blood flow to the kidneys. This condition can lead to high blood pressure and inhibit kidney function.
Concerned about your heart health? Dignity Health Southern California is here to help. Take our online heart risk assessment and Find a Doctor online to make an appointment. We care for your complete well-being and can address renal artery stenosis at five convenient locations in Long Beach, Northridge, Downtown LA, Glendale, and San Bernardino.
Causes of Renal Artery Stenosis
Like coronary artery disease, renal artery stenosis is caused by waxy plaques that build up in artery walls, which cause the artery to stiffen. Plaque buildup also narrows the opening (lumen) of the artery. Under these conditions, it is difficult for blood to pass through the artery to the kidneys.
Rarely, renal artery stenosis can be caused by a condition called fibromuscular dysplasia. This condition causes abnormal cell growth in the walls of the artery, narrowing the lumen.
Renal Artery Stenosis Symptoms
Renal artery stenosis often doesn’t show symptoms. Many people live for years with the condition and never know it. Your doctor may notice signs and symptoms of renal artery stenosis during an exam or diagnostic test for another vascular condition.
Renal artery stenosis is a potential cause of high blood pressure. Renal artery stenosis is more likely to be the underlying cause of your high blood pressure if you fall into one of the following risk groups:
- No family history of hypertension
- First developed high blood pressure after age 50
- Do not respond to treatment with typical blood pressure medications
- Have developed a significant increase in blood pressure
If left untreated, renal artery stenosis can decrease kidney function, causing signs and symptoms of kidney failure. Kidney failure symptoms include, muscle cramps, loss of appetite, and increased or decreased urination.
Treatment & Prevention of Renal Artery Stenosis at Dignity Health Southern California
Treatment of renal artery stenosis focuses on lowering blood pressure, slowing the progression of the disease, and reducing or eliminating blockages of the renal arteries. Your doctor may use a combination of therapies to treat renal artery stenosis and prevent permanent kidney damage.
Following a heart-healthy lifestyle and promptly treating cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, will help reduce your risk of developing renal artery stenosis. Partner with your doctor to address any heart problems early.
Dignity Health provides comprehensive care for cardiovascular conditions, including renal artery stenosis, in Southern California.