Renal Artery Disease/Renovascular Hypertension

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Renovascular hypertension is high blood pressure due to narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys. This condition is also called renal artery stenosis.

The most common cause of renal artery stenosis is a blockage in the arteries due to high cholesterol. This problem occurs when plaque builds up on the inner lining of the arteries.

When the arteries that carry blood to your kidneys become narrow, less blood flows to the kidneys. The kidneys mistakenly respond as if your blood pressure is low. As a result, they release hormones that tell the body to hold on to more salt and water. This causes your blood pressure to rise.

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Some risk factors for atherosclerosis include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Cocaine abuse
  • Increasing age

Fibromuscular dysplasia is another cause of renal artery stenosis. It is often seen in women younger than the age of 50. The condition is caused by abnormal growth of cells in the walls of the arteries leading to the kidneys. This also leads to narrowing or blockage of these arteries.

For patient inquiries, call 410-328-5840 or email us at: MarylandVascularCenter@smail.umaryland.edu.

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