Renal hypertension is a condition caused by renal artery stenosis, which is the narrowing or blockage of the two arteries responsible for supplying blood to the kidneys. When the normal blood flow is slowed by stenosis, it signals a hormonal response in the kidneys. If the renal arteries are functioning properly and there is adequate blood flow, these hormones keep your blood pressure regulated. But when the blood flow is reduced by stenosis, the hormonal response triggers an increase in blood pressure to the entire circulatory system.
There are two arteries responsible for delivering blood to the kidneys. If one or both of the renal arteries are narrowed or completely blocked due to renal artery stenosis, the result is renal hypertension.
When the renal arteries are functioning as they should, they help the body stave off dehydration. Low blood flow means that the body is low on water, so the kidneys release hormones that tell your body to retain salt and water. Once the additional fluid fills your blood vessels, it increases your blood pressure throughout your body, resulting in hypertension.
Nearly 90 percent of cases of renal artery stenosis and hypertension are caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries as a result of a buildup of plaque inside the artery walls. This condition is the same process that can lead to heart disease, heart attack or stroke, as not enough oxygenated blood is getting to your organs to keep them healthy and functioning correctly. If renal stenosis and renal hypertension remain untreated, you may be left with severe kidney damage.
Another less common cause of renal artery stenosis is known as fibromuscular dysplasia. This is a condition where the structures of your renal arteries have developed abnormally, causing them to be narrow and reducing blood flow to the kidneys.
Like regular hypertension, unless your blood pressure is dangerously high, renal hypertension can exist without causing symptoms. There is no way to feel if your arteries are narrowed, and high blood pressure may be attributed to stress or diet. If your blood pressure is extremely elevated, you may experience:
Again, the majority of patients never have these or any other symptoms, which makes this condition particularly dangerous, as organ damage can happen slowly without being noticed.
Because high blood pressure can be attributed to several other, more common factors, renal artery hypertension is often discovered by accident during tests conducted to identify other conditions. However, you may want to consider getting screened if you have one or more of the following risk factors:
Doctors may suspect that you have renal artery hypertension if your blood pressure is uncontrolled even with the use of multiple medications for hypertension, or if you develop chronic kidney disease. Renal hypertension can eventually lead to chronic kidney disease, which is another condition that is often advanced before any symptoms appear.
Like other artery conditions, renal artery hypertension can be diagnosed using an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI or angiogram. Once you are diagnosed, the first step toward controlling your elevated blood pressure is medication. However, if one or more medications are not doing the trick, it may be time to explore surgical options. Common treatments include those used to treat coronary artery disease, including angioplasty or the placement of a stent to open up the blocked artery, or in more severe cases, bypass surgery.
If you have been diagnosed with renal artery hypertension, or want to undergo a preventative screening, call IVC today at 503-612-0498 to schedule an appointment with one of our team of experienced and professional interventional radiologists.
This is for Dr. Pfister. I just wanted to thank him for all the time he spent with us the other week. In all the years I’ve had my vascular problems I’ve never had a doctor really sit down and explain to me the intricacies of what might be going on. I have a lot to think about…but just wanted to say thanks for being so nice and answering our many questions!L.H.
A fantastic group of wonderful people. The procedure was very smooth. When they were putting the port in I felt like I was getting a great massage!! Thank you all!S.C.
Charley was instrumental in getting me scheduled in quickly to get my PICC line removed. She actually worked until late in the day to get the information from my referring doctor’s office. It is nice to know great people like Charley still exist in this world!K.S.
I had my blood clot filter removed on 2/21/18. I was very apprehensive, yet EVERYONE in Dr. Pfister’s office and surgical team helped to make me comfortable. I am extremely claustrophobic so laying down or having something covering my face creates anxiety. Mary Anne listened to my concerns and made sure I was made comfortable and did not feel anxious. The surgical team was amazing, they explained everything thoroughly. Dr. Pfister came in after the procedure to review what he did and discuss any follow up that might be required. I so appreciate the time and attention he gives me as his patient. This was a positive experience.G.H.
110% Thank You! Best unit so far in my cancer treatment. Thanks Dr. LoveAnonymous
If you ever need an Interventional Radiologist for a child I realize it is serious business. I’ve seen Dr. Love go and save a child’s kidney without missing a beat. I could recommend no one better for myself, or for people I love. I think he is a little cool at the bedside, but that’s OK Dr. Love, stay frosty! If you can’t see Dr. Love, one of the other professionals at IVC will be able to help you. Ashley, the dynamite scheduler and one of the other surgeons at IVC will care for you. I’ve had multiple surgeries with this practice over the past several years. Never a hiccup!S. R. – Portland, OR
Great experience, doctor was thorough in explaining what was going to happen. The nurses were very attentive and made sure I was comfortable and my needs were met. I would recommend this office for any related procedure.Anonymous
Everything went very smoothly. Joe enjoyed the music. Very friendly staff! Good Experience!J. & E.
All staff was courteous and efficient. Good experience.J. J.
Dr. Pfister, thanks so much for your excellent care, removing my chemo port earlier this week. With all your experience and your fine touch, I’m confident the scar will be nearly invisible. Your team, from beginning to end, did a super job with me. Please extend my gratitude to Jennifer, Mary Anne, Todd and Charley. I’ve got a whole lot of living left to do. I appreciate all of you helping me do it!M. F.
Dr. Pfister, thank you for all of the attention you gave to me. I learned lots from our discussion – hearing you speak of ultimate healing was enough to encourage me to do all I can to strengthen those muscles.S. O.
The entire office is one of the most professional, helpful and informative medical offices I have dealt with (and I have dealt with many). Kudos to Jennifer, Henry, and Charley!K. C.
Great people. Great place. Good surgery.G. G.
Patty, Mary Anne and the whole staff was amazing! Best experience I’ve had since being diagnosed with cancer. From start to finish, was great. Thanks.M
My brother came into Legacy Meridian Park, had a stroke. Dr. Bauer came in immediately, in his work jeans and shirt. He worked with Neurologist Dr. Burbank, developed a plan and took my brother into a procedure where they removed the clot from his head! Very down to earth doctor, explained procedure to family, worked with sense of urgency.J. P.
I want to comment regarding Dr. Bauer of how he was thorough explaining my CT Biopsy and showing me how on the computer he would get the tissue needed. In all the years of several surgeries I have never felt better going in to have a procedure done. His bedside manner was incredible. I wish all doctors were like Dr. Bauer. Thank you for preparing and relaxing me prior to the biopsy.R.S. Molalla OR
Everyone did a superb job taking care of me and doing the procedure. Thank You AllK.S.
Dr. Bauer genuinely cares about his patients and strives to make sure they understand every aspect of their treatment.A. L.
Dr. Bauer, our family wants you to know how thankful we are to you for saving G.P.’s life and bringing him back to us in normal health. Thank you over and over you are the best!Family of G. P.