A disease that causes abnormal cell development within the artery wall
Expert Heart & Vascular Care
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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 of FMD?
Some people who have fibromuscular dysplasia 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
To diagnose fibromuscular dysplasia, your doctor likely will need to perform imaging tests or other procedures to analyze the arteries.
Arterial duplex ultrasound uses Doppler and traditional ultrasound to assess blood flow in the arteries of your arms and legs.
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 is used to open blocked or narrowed arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.