Renal Artery Stenosis

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Renal artery stenosis is when the blood vessels that bring oxygen rich blood to the kidneys are narrowed which prevents the normal amount of oxygen rich blood from reaching the kidneys.


The main causes of renal artery stenosis are

  • Buildup on kidney arteries
  • Fibromuscular dysplasia


Symptoms for renal artery stenosis are not shown until the condition has advanced. Usually, the condition is detected incidentally during testing for something else. Symptoms include

  • Sudden high blood pressure that is hard to control
  • Whooshing sound as blood flows through a narrowed vessel
  • Elevated protein levels in the urine
  • Worsening kidney function
  • Fluid overload in the body’s tissues

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose renal artery stenosis. Below are tests that the doctor may ask the patient to make a proper diagnosis

  • Doppler ultrasound
  • CT angiogram
  • Catheter angiogram


The goal of treatment for renal artery stenosis is to restore blood flow to the kidneys. The doctor may suggest the following treatment methods

  • Medication
  • Surgery

Lifestyle Changes:

The doctor may suggest lifestyle changes as part of the treatment plan. These suggestions may include

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Restrict salt consumption
  • Be physically active
  • Reduce stress
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Don’t smoke