Renal Hypertension

Renal hypertension also termed as renovascular hypertension, is high blood pressure caused due to kidney disease. Renovascular hypertension is caused when the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys become narrowing. The narrowing of arteries leads to decreased blood flow to the kidney and results in a rise of your blood pressure. Renovascular hypertension is one of the most common causes which is curable hypertension and accounts for 2 -3% of all hypertension cases.

Signs & Symptoms Of Renovascular Hypertension

Usually, renovascular hypertension is symptomless. The narrowing of arteries can not be felt until it’s dangerously high and high blood pressure also doesn’t cause any symptoms. So the organ damage occurs slowly without any symptoms. However, you may notice symptoms in some cases, which include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Bloody in urine
  • Bleeding from nose

High blood pressure which can’t be controlled even with high doses of medications, including a diuretic.
Renal hypertension affects your kidneys resulting in chronic kidney disease – a slow decline of kidney functions.
A buildup of fluids inside your lungs suddenly called pulmonary edema.
Narrowing of arteries in other body parts, such as legs, brain, eyes etc.

Causes of Renal Hypertension

The main cause of renal hypertension is consistent narrowing or blockage of arteries that supply blood to the renal organ called renal artery stenosis. High blood pressure pressurises the artery walls and weakens them.
As the kidneys receive low blood, they think low flow might due to dehydration. In response to that, they release hormones which stimulate the body to retain sodium and water. The retained extra fluids accumulated in blood vessels which result in high blood pressure.

Often, narrowing of renal arteries is mostly caused due to atherosclerosis or hardening of your arteries. This is same as the condition that leads to many heart attacks and strokes. Fibromuscular dysplasia is another less common cause of renal hypertension. It is a condition where the structure of the renal arteries is abnormally developed for unknown reasons.

Overall, nearly 80% of hypertension cases are due to atherosclerosis and 20% are caused due to fibromuscular dysplasia. Atherosclerosis is a common conditoin among men aged 50 and above. Fibromuscular dysplasia is prevalent among younger patients especially women.

Treatment For Renal Hypertension

If you are suspected to have renal failure, doctors suggest some medications that control high blood pressure in renal hypertension such as ACE inhibitors, ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers). In most cases, people suffering from renal hypertension due to narrowing renal artery, certain medications can control blood pressure effectively.

In some severe cases of renal hypertension medication may not helpful. In such conditions, certain procedures like angioplasty, stenting may be performed to improve the flow of blood to the kidneys may help. These are procedures similar to the one used to improve the flow of blood in the heart with coronary artery disease.
Surgery: Generally, surgery is considered when angioplasty and stenting are ineffective. The surgery involves bypassing of the narrowed artery in the renal system by sewing a healthy blood vessel side of it.

For more information consult our nephrologist at AINU for better care and treatment options.