A disease that causes abnormal cell development within the artery wall

Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) can lead arteries to narrow (stenosis), bulge (aneurysm) or tear (dissection).

FMD can occur in any artery in the body, but it appears most often in the:

  • Renal arteries, which supply the kidneys with blood

  • Carotid and vertebral arteries, which supply the brain with blood

  • Arteries in the abdomen, which supply blood to the liver, spleen, and intestines

Women and smokers are at greater risk of developing fibromuscular dysplasia, and most people with the disease will have it in more than one artery.

What are the symptoms?

Some people who have this condition may not have any symptoms. For others, symptoms will vary depending on the arteries that are affected.

  • Renal arteries: High blood pressure, abnormal kidney function, kidney failure (rare)
  • Carotid and vertebral arteries: Headache, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, stroke
  • Abdominal arteries: Abdominal pain, unintended weight loss

Tests

To diagnose this condition, your doctor likely will need to perform imaging tests or other procedures to analyse the arteries.

Arterial Duplex Ultrasound for Arms and Legs

Arterial duplex ultrasound uses Doppler and traditional ultrasound to assess blood flow in the arteries of your arms and legs.

Treatments

There is no cure for FMD, but there are treatments to manage symptoms and complications of the disease. These may include medications or more advanced treatments, including:

Renal Artery Stenting

Renal artery stenting is used to open blocked or narrowed arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.

Read our Cardiovascular Performance & Outcomes Booklet

Ask MHVI

Have questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net.