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What are some common symptoms of renal artery stenosis?

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Symptoms of renal artery stenosis include the sudden onset of high blood pressure, high blood pressure that starts before age 30 and after age 55, and difficult-to-treat high blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include irregular kidney function, high levels of protein in the urine and heart failure.

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Renal artery stenosis may display no symptoms in patients until it has advanced significantly, and it is often accidentally discovered as part of some other testing procedure, notes Mayo Clinic. Most people never display any signs or symptoms at all.

Renal artery stenosis is a condition characterized by a narrowing of the renal arteries that causes restricted blood flow to the kidneys, explains MedicineNet.com. The lack of blood flow can cause renal failure and hypertension. It is diagnosed through blood or urine tests to assess kidney function; kidney ultrasound to examine overall kidney structure; doppler ultrasound to measure the speed of blood flow to the kidney; and magnetic resonance arteriogram and computed tomographic angiography to evaluate the kidney and blood vessels, explains WebMD.

Treatment depends on the scope and severity of the condition, but it is often treated with cholesterol regulating drugs and aspirin, notes WebMD. More invasive treatment includes angioplasty, in which a balloon attached to a catheter is inflated to open the restricted artery. In the most severe cases, surgery may be required to bypass the narrowed or blocked artery, or the non-functioning kidney may require complete removal.

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