What is Renovascular Disease?
Renovascular disease affects the blood vessels of your kidneys, called the renal arteries and veins. When your kidney blood vessels narrow (stenosis) or have a clot (thrombosis), your kidney is less able to function properly.
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries and slows the amount of blood flowing through the arteries. In some situations eventually enough plaque may build up to interfere with blood flow in your renal arteries.
Factors that may increase your chance of getting renovascular disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- A family history of heart or vascular disease
Signs and symptoms of renovascular disease may include:
- Pain in the sides of abdomen, legs or thighs
- Blood in urine
- Protein in urine
- Enlarged kidney
- High blood pressure
- Fever, nausea or vomiting
- Sudden, severe swelling in leg
- Difficulty breathing
Diagnosis & Treatment
To determine if someone has renovascular disease, a health care provider will ask questions about general health, medical history and symptoms. Then they will perform a physical exam. If your health care provider suspects renovascular disease, further diagnostic testing will be recommended.
The following procedures are offered at St. Elizabeth's Interventional Peripheral Vascular Lab for the treatment of renovascular disease depending on a patient’s diagnosis:
- Catheter-based Revascularization. These procedures involve a thin tube called a catheter, which is inserted into an artery. These procedures include:
- Balloon angioplasty. A balloon-tipped catheter is used to press plaque against the wall of the artery. This increases the amount of space for the blood to flow.
- Stenting. Usually done after angioplasty. A wire mesh tube is placed in a damaged artery. It will support the wall of the artery and keep it open.
- Atherectomy. Instruments are inserted via catheter. They are used to cut away and remove plaque so that blood can flow more easily.
You can reduce some of your risk factors for developing atherosclerosis by following these recommendations:
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Don't smoke. If you smoke, quit.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Begin a safe exercise program with the advice of your doctor.
- Seek treatment for high blood pressure, syphilis and other infections.