Alia Bucciarelli, MS
Renovascular hypertension is
high blood pressure
in 1 or both of the renal arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.
Renovascular hypertension is caused by renal artery stenosis, a narrowing of the artery in the kidney. This results in a decrease in blood flow to 1 or both kidneys.
Each kidney is capable of regulating the body’s blood pressure to assure that each organ has an adequate supply of oxygenated blood. Stenosis activates a cascade of hormones known as the renin-angiotensin system. This pattern increases blood pressure, which may result in renovascular hypertension. High blood pressure is a leading cause of
The 2 most common causes of renovascular hypertension are:
Factors that may increase your chance of renovascular hypertension include:
Problems with the renal arteries develop slowly and worsen over time. Most people do not experience symptoms of high blood pressure, so symptoms may go unnoticed.
In those that have symptoms, renovascular hypertension may cause:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor may take multiple blood pressure measurements over time and conduct blood tests to help diagnose your condition.
Kidney function can be evaluated with imaging tests. Tests may or may not use contrast material. Tests can include:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Your doctor will first prescribe medication to help control your blood pressure. Because responses to medications vary, your doctor will monitor your blood pressure frequently and may adjust the type, combination, and/or dose of medication. Types of high blood pressure medications include the following:
If you have severe, uncontrolled renovascular hypertension, your doctor may suggest interventions to restore blood flow to the kidneys. Types of interventions include:
To help reduce your chance of renovascular hypertension:
Society for Vascular Surgery
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery
Fenves AZ, Ram CV. Renovascular hypertension: Clinical concepts.
Renal artery stenosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115312/Renal-artery-stenosis. Updated August 29, 2016. Accessed September 26, 2016.
Renovascular conditions. Society for Vascular Surgery website. Available at http://www.vascularweb.org/vascularhealth/Pages/renovascular-conditions.aspx. Accessed June 1, 2016.
Renovascular disease. Patient UK website. Available at
http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Renal-Vascular-Disease.htm. Updated March 11, 2016. Accessed June 1, 2016.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
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