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Renal Vascular Disease

Renal vascular disease affects the blood flow into and out of the kidneys. It may cause kidney damage, kidney failure, and high blood pressure.

Types of renal vascular disease are:

  • Renal artery stenosis (RAS). This is a narrowing or blockage of an artery to the kidneys. It may cause kidney failure and high blood pressure. Smokers have a greater risk of getting RAS. High cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes, too much weight, and a family history of heart disease are also risk factors for RAS. High blood pressure is both a cause and a result of RAS.
  • Renal artery thrombosis. This is a blood clot in an artery that supplies a kidney. It may block blood flow and cause kidney failure.
  • Renal vein thrombosis. This is the formation of a clot in a vein to a kidney.
  • Renal artery aneurysm. This is a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery to a kidney. Most are small and don’t cause symptoms. Renal artery aneurysms are rare and are often found during tests for other conditions.
  • Atheroembolic renal disease. This happens when a piece of plaque from a larger artery breaks off and travels through the blood. This blocks small renal arteries. This disease is becoming a common cause of kidney problems in older adults.

Renin is a strong hormone that raises blood pressure. Decreased blood flow to a kidney from renal vascular disease may cause too much renin to be made. This can lead to high blood pressure.

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