Renal Arterial Disease

Renal arterial disease is a condition that is most prevalent among people over the age of 60, and if not treated properly can lead to possible kidney damage and/or high blood pressure. More accurately referred to as renal artery stenosis, it is characterized by the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to one or both of the kidneys. In addition to kidney damage, if left untreated this condition can cause high blood pressure if the body senses the reduced blood flow to the kidneys and mistakes it for low blood pressure.

Renal arterial disease is most often caused by atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease), which is the buildup of plaque inside the arteries. Plaque is commonly comprised of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances, and over time it can limit the flow of blood to your organs and other parts of your body. Potential causes of atherosclerosis can include diabetes, high cholesterol, chronic kidney disease, tobacco use, and hypertension, and the first sign of the condition is usually high blood pressure.

If you have been diagnosed with renal arterial disease, there are several potential treatment options including:

  • Renal angioplasty and stenting – In this procedure, a physician inserts a catheter into the affected area and inflates a balloon that flattens the plaque onto the artery’s walls. A small wire tube (stent) is then inserted to help keep the artery open.
  • Renal artery bypass – In this treatment option, which is usually used for more severe cases, a substitute artery is grafted to the renal artery to create a new path for blood to reach the kidneys.
  • Renal endarterectomy – This procedure entails the removal of the plaque from the renal artery through an incision in the aorta, which is then stitched closed.

At Tampa General Hospital, our team of specialists provides comprehensive care for a wide variety of vascular disorders such as renal arterial disease.