Renal Artery Disease | Stenosis |Symptoms | MedStar Health

A lack of blood supply to the kidneys

Your kidneys need a continuous supply of blood so they can filter out waste and excess fluid from the body. Renal artery disease, also known as renal artery stenosis, is a narrowing or blockage of the arteries that bring blood to the kidneys.

Without treatment, renal artery disease can lead to kidney failure or other serious concerns such as high blood pressure. Our vascular and endovascular program is a recognized leader in the mid-Atlantic region for treating renal artery disease and other vascular conditions.

Renal artery disease is most often caused by a buildup of plaque in the renal arteries. The condition also can be caused by fibromuscular dysplasia, in which the artery wall’s muscle grows abnormally and can block blood flow.

What are the symptoms of renal artery disease?

Renal artery disease may not cause any symptoms at first. As the condition gets worse, you may experience:

  • Heart failure that doesn’t respond to normal treatment

  • High blood pressure that doesn’t respond to lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise

  • Poor or abnormal kidney function

  • Swelling in the body’s tissues because of fluid retention


Diagnosing renal artery disease starts with your doctor listening to the kidneys for sounds of a narrowed artery. Blood and urine tests can give more information about kidney function, and additional tests can help locate where your artery may be narrowed or blocked.

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.


Lifestyle changes and medications may help restore blood flow to the kidneys. In severe cases of renal artery disease, you may need a procedure to widen or bypass a narrowed or blocked artery.

Renal Artery Stenting

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

Additional information

Vascular and endovascular program

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