Browse by Medical Category
Call to request an appointment or referral:
Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is the abnormal development or growth of cells in the walls of the body’s arteries. As a result of this growth, areas of the arteries can thicken, narrow and even enlarge, making it difficult for blood to flow through them.
FMD most often affects the renal arteries, which supply the kidneys with blood, and carotid arteries, which bring blood to the brain. Less commonly, FMD develops in the arteries of the abdomen (mesenteric arteries) or the arteries of the arms and legs. In nearly one-third of people with FMD, more than one artery is affected.
Depending on which arteries are affected, FMD can increase the risk of high blood pressure, impaired kidney function, aneurysm, stroke and other complications. FMD affects between 1-5% of Americans, typically women under age 50.
The cause of FMD is still unknown. However, several factors may play a role in its development. A combination of these factors is likely responsible:
FMD can increase risk of several conditions, including:
Risk factors for FMD include:
Many people with FMD do not develop symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they depend on the location of the affected arteries. In the renal arteries, FMD can cause:
In the carotid arteries, FMD can cause:
In the mesenteric arteries, FMD can cause:
In the arteries of the arms and legs, FMD can cause:
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, physicians may use one or more the following tests to diagnose FMD:
Even though there is no cure for FMD, it can be controlled. A multidisciplinary team of physicians will determine the best treatment based on the patient’s individual case. Treatment for FMD includes:
Although FMD can be managed successfully, it can reoccur in some patients. For this reason, people with FMD should continue to be monitored by their physicians even after interventional or surgical treatments are completed. Patients may be seen for follow-up visits every few months or once or twice a year, depending on their individual case. Physicians will monitor patients’ medications and assess signs of possible recurrence.
Back to Top