Learn About Renovascular Hypertension

What is the definition of Renovascular Hypertension?

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.

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What are the alternative names for Renovascular Hypertension?

Renal hypertension; Hypertension - renovascular; Renal artery occlusion; Stenosis - renal artery; Renal artery stenosis; High blood pressure - renovascular

What are the causes of Renovascular Hypertension?

Renal artery stenosis is a narrowing or blockage of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.

The most common cause of renal artery stenosis is a blockage in the arteries. This problem most often occurs when a sticky, fatty substance called plaque builds up on the inner lining of the arteries, causing a condition known as atherosclerosis.

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.

Risk factors for atherosclerosis:

  • 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 typically seen in women under age 50. It tends to run in families. 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.

What are the symptoms of Renovascular Hypertension?

People with renovascular hypertension may have a history of very high blood pressure that is hard to bring down with medicines.

Symptoms of renovascular hypertension include:

  • High blood pressure at a young age
  • High blood pressure that suddenly gets worse or is hard to control
  • Kidneys that are not working well (this can start suddenly)
  • Narrowing of other arteries in the body, such as to the legs, the brain, the eyes and elsewhere
  • Sudden buildup of fluid in the air sacs of the lungs (pulmonary edema)

If you have a dangerous form of high blood pressure called malignant hypertension, symptoms can include:

  • Bad headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Changes in vision
  • Nosebleeds
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What are the current treatments for Renovascular Hypertension?

High blood pressure caused by narrowing of the arteries that lead to the kidneys is often hard to control.

One or more medicines are needed to help control blood pressure. There are many types available.

  • Everyone responds to medicine differently. Your blood pressure should be checked often. The amount and type of medicine you take may need to be changed from time to time.
  • Ask your provider what blood pressure reading is right for you.
  • Take all medicines the way your provider prescribed them.

Have your cholesterol levels checked, and treated if it is needed. Your provider will help determine the right cholesterol levels for you based on your heart disease risk and other health conditions.

Lifestyle changes are important:

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly, at least 30 minutes a day (check with your doctor before starting).
  • If you smoke, quit. Find a program that will help you stop.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink: 1 drink a day for women, 2 a day for men.
  • Limit the amount of sodium (salt) you eat. Aim for less than 1,500 mg per day. Check with your doctor about how much potassium you should be eating.
  • Reduce stress. Try to avoid things that cause stress for you. You can also try meditation or yoga.
  • Stay at a healthy body weight. Find a weight-loss program to help you if you need it.

Further treatment depends on what causes the narrowing of the kidney arteries. Your provider may recommend a procedure called angioplasty with stenting.

These procedures may be an option if you have:

  • Severe narrowing of the renal artery
  • Blood pressure that cannot be controlled with medicines
  • Kidneys that are not working well and are becoming worse

However, the decision about which people should have these procedures is complex, and depends on many of the factors listed above.

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What are the possible complications of Renovascular Hypertension?

If your blood pressure is not well controlled, you are at risk for the following complications:

  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Stroke
  • Vision problems
  • Poor blood supply to the legs
When should I contact a medical professional for Renovascular Hypertension?

Contact your provider if you think you have high blood pressure.

Contact your provider if you have renovascular hypertension and symptoms get worse or do not improve with treatment. Also call if new symptoms develop.

How do I prevent Renovascular Hypertension?

Preventing atherosclerosis may prevent renal artery stenosis. Taking the following steps can help:

  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Ask your provider about your smoking and alcohol use.
  • Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
  • Make sure your provider is monitoring your blood cholesterol levels.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.
  • Get regular exercise.
Hypertensive kidney
Renal arteries
What are the latest Renovascular Hypertension Clinical Trials?
Clinical Outcome of Patients With Resistant Hypertension Undergoing Renal Denervation: A Report From the Swedish Registry for Renal Denervation

Summary: Studies on the impact of RDN on cardiovascular surrogate markers have shown a variety of beneficial effects: RDN is associated with a decrease blood pressure (BP), left ventricular mass (LVM), a reduction in aortic pulse-wave velocity and BP variability as well as an increase in heart rate-recovery. Several of these aspects have been observed independently of office BP response, and might be media...

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Clinical Evaluation of the Therapeutic Intra-Vascular Ultrasound (TIVUS™) System for Renal Denervation in Patients With Uncontrolled Stage 2 Hypertension

Summary: This is a prospective, multicenter, non-randomized, open-label clinical study of the safety and performance of the TIVUS™ System in subjects with uncontrolled stage 2 hypertension in order to assess the safety and effectiveness of the TIVUS™ System when used for renal artery denervation. The study will assess the acute and chronic safety of the procedure as well as the reduction in 24-hour ambulat...

What are the Latest Advances for Renovascular Hypertension?
Percutaneous cutting balloon angioplasty for the treatment of renovascular hypertension in children and adolescents.
Malignant arterial hypertension in a 2-month-old girl: Etiological diagnosis and treatment.
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Presentation, treatment, and outcome of renovascular hypertension below 2 years of age.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: May 10, 2022
Published By: Deepak Sudheendra, MD, MHCI, RPVI, FSIR, Founder and CEO, 360 Vascular Institute, with an expertise in Vascular Interventional Radiology & Surgical Critical Care, Columbus, OH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Textor SC. Renovascular hypertension and ischemic nephropathy. In: Yu ASL, Chertow GM, Luyckx VA, Marsden PA, Skorecki K, Taal MW, eds. Brenner and Rector's The Kidney. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 47.

US Preventive Services Task Force, Krist AH, Davidson KW, Mangione CM, et al. Screening for hypertension in adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2021;325(16):1650-1656. PMID: 33904861 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33904861/.

Victor RG. Arterial hypertension. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 70.

Victor RG. Systemic hypertension: mechanisms and diagnosis. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 46.

Victor RG, Libby P. Systemic hypertension: management. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 47.