Renovascular Hypertension

Definition

Renovascular hypertension is high blood pressure in one or both of the renal arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.
The Kidney and its Main Blood Vessels
Renal Artery
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

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 one 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 stroke and heart attack. The two most common causes of renovascular hypertension are:
  • Atherosclerosis—Fatty plaque builds up in the arteries and blocks blood flow to the kidneys.This occurs mainly in men over 50 years old.
  • Fibromuscular dysplasia—An inherited disorder where muscle and fibrous tissue of the renal artery wall thicken and harden into rings that block blood flow to the kidneys. This occurs mainly in young women in their 30s.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of renovascular hypertension include:

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