About Renal Artery Stenosis Treatment
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Renal Artery Stenosis
Renal artery stenosis is a condition that occurs when the arteries that carry blood to one or both of the kidneys narrow. As time goes on, the condition can worsen leading to high blood pressure (hypertension) and kidney damage. Causes
Risk factors for the condition include:
- Atherosclerosis - This is the clogging, narrowing and hardening of the renal arteries due to plaque build-up. Plaque is a substance made of cholesterol, fat, calcium and other material found in the blood.
- Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) - This occurs when there is abnormal growth of cells on the wall of the renal artery, which can cause blood vessels to narrow.
Signs and symptoms
- Lack of physical exercise
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal blood cholesterol levels
- A family history of heart disease
- Older age
They include hypertension that is difficult to control with medication, kidney dysfunction and pulmonary edema.Diagnosis
Imaging tests used to diagnose the condition include:
- Catheter angiogram: It is a special x-ray in which a catheter is threaded through the large arteries to the renal artery. This is done by a radiologist. Anaesthesia is not needed but to lessen anxiety a sedative may be given.
- Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA): This test uses magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of the internal organs without using x rays. A mild sedative may be given to you if you have a fear of confined spaces. The images are then interpreted by a radiologist.
- Computerized tomographic angiography (CTA) Scan: This test uses both computer technology and x rays to create images. The procedure is done by an x-ray technician and then interpreted by a radiologist.
- Duplex Ultrasound: This test uses both traditional ultrasound and Doppler ultrasonography. It is performed by a special technician. The images are the interpreted by a radiologist.
Treatment includes surgery, medication or lifestyle changes.
- Surgery: The procedures are done by a vascular surgeon in a hospital. Anesthesia is required. The following are the different surgical procedures:
- Endarterectomy - It involves cleaning out the artery. A vein or synthetic tube then connects the kidney to the aorta.
- Angioplasty and stenting - A catheter is inserted into the renal artery. In addition, a stent is positioned in the artery to keep plaque flat and artery open.
- Medications: Medications are taken to lower the blood pressure, to help the kidneys remove fluid from the blood and to lower the cholesterol to prevent plaque build-up.
- Lifestyle changes: Maintaining a healthy body weight, diet and physical exercise are good ways to prevents plaque build-up. If you smoke, quitting will help protect your kidneys and other organs.
Risks : Side effects from the contrast medium or sedative and injury to the artery from the catheter. If the kidneys do not remove the contrast medium well, it may cause complications to the skin and other organs. Side effects from X-ray radiation may be experienced. In addition, it is not recommended for people with dysfunctional kidneys since it uses more contrast medium.
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