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Condition

Acute Arterial Occlusion of Kidney

Condition 101

What is the definition of Acute Arterial Occlusion of Kidney?

Acute arterial occlusion of the kidney is a sudden, severe blockage of the artery that supplies blood to the kidney.

What are the alternative names for Acute Arterial Occlusion of Kidney?

Acute renal arterial thrombosis; Renal artery embolism; Acute renal artery occlusion; Embolism - renal artery

What are the causes for Acute Arterial Occlusion of Kidney?

The kidneys need a good blood supply. The main artery to the kidney is called the renal artery. Reduced blood flow through the renal artery can hurt kidney function. A complete blockage of blood flow to the kidney can often result in permanent kidney failure.

Acute arterial occlusion of the renal artery can occur after injury or trauma to the abdomen, side, or back. Blood clots that travel through the bloodstream (emboli) can lodge in the renal artery. Pieces of plaque from the walls of the arteries can come loose (on their own or during a procedure). This debris can block the main kidney artery or one of the smaller vessels.

The risk of renal artery blockages increases in people who have certain heart disorders, which make them likely to form blood clots. These include mitral stenosis and atrial fibrillation.

A narrowing of the renal artery is called renal artery stenosis. This condition increases the risk of a sudden blockage.

What are the symptoms for Acute Arterial Occlusion of Kidney?

You may not have symptoms when one kidney does not function because the second kidney can filter the blood. However, high blood pressure (hypertension) may come on suddenly and be difficult to control.

If your other kidney is not working fully, blockage of the renal artery may cause symptoms of acute kidney failure. Other symptoms of acute arterial occlusion of the renal artery include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abrupt decrease in urine output
  • Back pain
  • Blood in the urine
  • Flank pain or pain in the side
  • Symptoms of high blood pressure such as headache, change in vision, and swelling

Note: There may be no pain. Pain, if it is present, most often develops suddenly.

What are the current treatments for Acute Arterial Occlusion of Kidney?

Often, people do not need treatment. Blood clots may get better on their own over time.

You may have treatment to open the artery if the blockage is discovered quickly or it is affecting the only working kidney. Treatment to open the artery may include:

  • Clot-dissolving medicines (thrombolytics)
  • Medicines that prevent the blood from clotting (anticoagulants), such as warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Surgical repair of the renal artery
  • Insertion of a tube (catheter) into the renal artery to open the blockage

You may need temporary dialysis to treat acute kidney failure. Medicines to lower cholesterol may be needed if the blockage is due to clots from plaque buildup in the arteries.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Acute Arterial Occlusion of Kidney?

Damage caused by arterial occlusion may go away. However, in most cases, it is permanent.

If only one kidney is affected, the healthy kidney may take over filtering the blood and producing urine. If you have only one working kidney, arterial occlusion leads to acute kidney failure. This can develop into chronic kidney failure.

What are the possible complications for Acute Arterial Occlusion of Kidney?

Complications may include:

  • Acute kidney failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Malignant hypertension

When should I contact a medical professional for Acute Arterial Occlusion of Kidney?

Call your provider if:

  • You stop producing urine
  • You feel sudden, severe pain in the back, flank, or abdomen.

Get emergency medical help right away if you have symptoms of arterial occlusion and have only one working kidney.

How do I prevent Acute Arterial Occlusion of Kidney?

In many cases, the disorder is not preventable. The most important way to reduce your risk is to stop smoking.

People at risk for developing blood clots may need to take anti-clotting medicines. Taking steps to control diseases related to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) may reduce your risk.

REFERENCES

DuBose TD, Santos RM. Vascular disorders of the kidney. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 125.

Myers DJ, Myers SI. System complications: renal. In: Sidawy AN, Perler BA, eds. Rutherford's Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 44.

Ruggenenti P, Cravedi P, Remuzzi G. Microvascular and macrovascular diseases of the kidney. In: Skorecki K, Chertow GM, Marsden PA, Taal MW, Yu ASL, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 35.

Watson RS, Cogbill TH. Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis. In: Cameron JL, Cameron AM, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:1041-1047.

Latest Research

Latest Advance
Study
  • Condition: Complex Aortic Abdominal Aneurysms (AAA)
  • Journal: Journal of vascular surgery
  • Treatment Used: Fenestrated Anaconda Endograft
  • Number of Patients: 335
  • Published —
This study assessed the outcomes of fenestrated Anaconda endograft in the treatment of complex abdominal aortic aneurysms (ballooning of aorta; AAA).
Latest Advance
Study
  • Condition: Kidney Transplant
  • Journal: BMC nephrology
  • Treatment Used: Rapamune® (Sirolimus)
  • Number of Patients: 209
  • Published —
This study aimed to better understand safety and efficacy of Rapamune for kidney transplant recipients in the routine clinical practice setting in Korea.
Latest Advance
Study
  • Condition: Patients Undergoing Zenith Fenestrated Aortic Repair
  • Journal: Journal of vascular surgery
  • Treatment Used: Adjunctive Visceral Artery Chimney
  • Number of Patients: 6
  • Published —
This study demonstrated feasibility and provided evidence on the performance of chimneys for the treatment of complex juxtarenal aneurysms that could not be adequately treated with Zenith Fenestrated endograft (ZFEN) alone.
Latest Advance
Study
  • Condition: Pre-existing renal dysfunction, post-enfovascular aneurism repair (EVAR)
  • Journal: European journal of vascular and endovascular surgery : the official journal of the European Society for Vascular Surgery
  • Treatment Used: Suprarenal (SR) versus infrarenal (IR) fixation.
  • Number of Patients: 54832
  • Published —
This extensive review of literature evaluated renal outcomes when approached with suprarenal (SR) compared to infrarenal (IR) fixation after end-vascular aneurysm repair (EVAR).

Clinical Trials

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.