Renal Artery Screening
The kidneys are a pair of regulatory organs located on either side of your back. Their main function is to act as a filter system that removes waste products and excess fluid from the body. The kidneys and your circulatory system depend on each other for good health. High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is the second leading cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure can also be a complication of chronic kidney disease.
Renal hypertension is elevated blood pressure caused by kidney disease. Renal hypertension is caused by narrowing in the arteries that deliver blood to the kidneys. One or both kidneys arteries may be narrowed. This is a condition called renal artery stenosis. These damaged arteries are not able to deliver enough blood to the kidney tissue. The narrowing in one or both renal arteries is most often caused by atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
This is the same process that leads to many heart attacks and strokes. Renal hypertension usually causes no symptoms. The narrowing in the arteries can’t be felt. Atherosclerosis in the renal arteries is a progressive disease that may lead to a gradual and silent loss of renal function. Thus, early diagnosis of this condition is important. Doppler ultrasound screening of the renal arteries is a noninvasive, relatively inexpensive exam which accurately detects the presence of renal artery stenosis.
Who Needs This Screening?
Anyone with high blood pressure.
Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
- Family history of heart disease
- A diet in high fat, sodium, and sugar
Sedentary lifestyle, or lack of exercise
- High cholesterol