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What are symptoms of renal artery stenosis?

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Symptoms of renal artery stenosis include sudden high blood pressure, high blood pressure before age 30 or after age 55, elevated levels of protein in the urine and kidney function that gets worse during treatment for high blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic. Many people show no symptoms until it has reached an advanced state.

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Renal artery stenosis is characterized by the narrowing of the renal arteries and prevents an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood from being transported to the kidneys, explains Mayo Clinic. Narrowing of the arteries reduces the removal of waste products and excess fluid and may lead to increased blood pressure and kidney tissue damage.

The condition is diagnosed through various medical tests, including evaluating kidney function with blood and urine tests; kidney ultrasound to view the kidney structure; doppler ultrasound to evaluate blood flow to the kidneys; and a magnetic resonance arteriogram to view 3-D images of the kidneys, notes WebMD.

Treatment of renal artery stenosis depends on the severity and scope of the condition, but it generally begins with medication to control blood pressure or cholesterol, according to WebMD. In some instances, an angioplasty may be performed, which involves implanting a stent in the renal artery to keep it open. In the most severe cases, surgery may be necessary to bypass the affected artery or to remove the kidney.

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