Renovascular conditions harden or narrow the vessels that supply the kidneys with blood, preventing them from properly filtering wastes from your blood and helping to regulate blood pressure.
The three most common renovascular conditions are:
Renal hypertension and renal artery stenosis are caused when plaque builds up and stiffens the inner walls of the renal arteries (a condition called atherosclerosis). Severe buildup can interfere with blood flow to the kidneys.
Renal vein thrombosis is commonly caused by nephrotic syndrome, a condition in which abnormally large amounts of a protein (called albumin) leak into the urine. It can also be caused by an injury to the vein, an infection or a tumor.
Renovascular conditions often develop slowly, so you may not notice any symptoms right away. One common sign of renal artery stenosis is high blood pressure that becomes worse or stops responding to medication. Your doctor may also be able to hear a “whooshing” sound in your abdomen by listening with a stethoscope.
Renal vein thrombosis can cause a clot in your vein to break off and block blood flow to an otherwise healthy vessel. If this occurs, you may notice the following symptoms:
Renovascular conditions can also lead to kidney failure, a life-threatening condition that causes the following symptoms:
Your doctor can diagnose a renovascular condition using the results from the following tests:
Renal hypertension and renal artery stenosis may be managed with medication and lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking.
A sudden blockage may require a medical procedure or surgery to restore blood flow. Options include: