Renal ArteryDisease


Renal artery disease, also known as renal artery stenosis, is a condition that occurs when the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the kidneys become stiff and narrow. This prevents the kidneys from receiving the blood flow necessary to function properly.

Renal artery disease is most often caused when plaque builds up in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Risks include:

  • Diabetes
  • Family history of coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease or renal artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that disrupts cell growth in your nervous system
  • Being over age 50
  • Smoking


Symptoms of renal artery stenosis can include high blood pressure that can’t be controlled by medications and lifestyle changes. Other symptoms can include fluid retention or congestive heart failure. 

In severe cases, renal artery disease can lead to kidney failure, which may cause weakness, shortness of breath and fatigue. 

In some cases, renal artery disease doesn’t cause any symptoms.


Renal artery disease can be diagnosed with non-invasive testing, such as:

Treatment Options

It’s important to have your renal artery disease treated. Without treatment, the disease can progress and lead to kidney failure. Treatment options include:

  • Interventional procedures such as renal angioplasty or renal stenting
  • Lifestyle modifications such as losing weight, quitting smoking, getting more exercise and eating a low-sodium/low-fat diet
  • Medications to control high blood pressure
  • Surgery, such as renal endarterectomy or renal bypass

At Aurora, we have an experienced team of specialists that includes nephrologists, cardiologists, radiologists, surgeons and other vascular specialists who will work with you to determine the best treatment for your renal artery disease.

Why Aurora?

You're at the Heart of Our Care 

Aurora Health Care offers coordinated care for preventing, diagnosing and treating heart and vascular disease. World-renowned heart and vascular specialists diagnose and treat all types of cardiovascular conditions and disorders, using the most advanced state-of-the-art tools and technologies available today. 

We have 15 hospitals and 155 clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois so you can find a location that's closest to you. 

What’s all this mean to you? Convenient, coordinated and expert care. 

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