What is Renal Artery Stenosis?

The renal arteries play a crucial role in supplying blood to the kidneys. When these arteries become narrowed or blocked, a condition known as renal artery disease, or renal artery stenosis (RAS), occurs. This restricts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the kidneys, hindering their ability to perform their primary function of filtering waste and removing excess fluids from the body. Moreover, renal artery disease can lead to an increase in blood pressure throughout the body.

The kidneys are highly dependent on proper blood flow to function. Lack of proper blood flow not only worsens kidney function and damages kidney tissue but also contributes to overall hypertension, making it difficult to manage high blood pressure effectively. When the body detects reduced blood flow to the kidneys, it interprets it as low blood pressure. As a response, the kidneys release hormones that increase blood pressure.

Assess your risk of stroke, aneurysm, and peripheral arterial disease ASAP

Free Renal Artery Disease Screening

Renal artery stenosis is present in approximately 5% to 10% of people over the age of 65. This risk increases in people with diabetes, obesity, low HDL, and an inactive lifestyle.

Progression of renal artery disease leads to hypertension, decrease in kidney size and function and ultimately to renal failure and kidney dialysis.

If you are 50 years of age or older with a history of any of the following risk factors: elevated cholesterol, hypertension, coronary artery disease, smoking, renal disease, diabetes or a family history of PAD, please call (810) 720-ASAP (2727) to schedule your confidential free screening and Assess your risk of Stroke, Aneurysm and Peripheral arterial disease.

RAS Diagnosis

Doctors use blood and urine tests to assess kidney function and detect any abnormalities. Ultrasound imaging is also performed to evaluate the size and function of the kidneys. Doppler ultrasound, a specialized technique, measures blood-flow speed in the renal arteries. Other imaging scans, such as computerized tomographic angiography (CTA) or magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA), can also give a detailed view of the renal arteries.

Common RAS Treatments

Renal artery stenosis treatment and management often involves lifestyle adjustments combined with medical treatment.

To treat RAS:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet low in sodium, sugar, cholesterol, and trans fats
  • Exercise regularly
  • Quit smoking and tobacco use
  • Take prescribed medications for blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Undergo procedures or surgeries, like an angioplasty

Did You Know…

Renal Artery Stenosis is the most common correctable cause of hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Fortunately, vascular surgeons are experts in renal arteries.

The Vascular Specialists of Michigan Vascular Center are experienced in all aspects of this disease. Non-invasive, painless ultrasound testing is usually the first step in making this difficult diagnosis. Although we have a large experience with both the catheter-based and surgical treatment of this disease, most importantly we understand when medical management is the best option.

If you have any questions, please contact us

If you have any questions, please contact us