Medical Grand Rounds

Recognizing and managing fibromuscular dysplasia

Many physicians consider fibromuscular dysplasia to be rare, but it is not that uncommon: it is simply often overlooked or misdiagnosed.

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ABSTRACT
Fibromuscular dysplasia typically occurs in young women and most commonly presents with hypertension, transient ischemic attack, stroke, or an asymptomatic cervical bruit. The disease is nonatherosclerotic and noninflammatory and most often affects the renal and carotid arteries, although almost any artery can be involved. On angiography, affected blood vessels characteristically resemble a string of beads in the most common type of fibromuscular dysplasia, medial fibroplasia. Patients with renal artery stenosis and hypertension or renal impairment should be treated with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty without a stent. Patients with fibromuscular dysplasia of the internal carotid artery should also be treated with angioplasty if they develop focal neurologic symptoms such as a transient ischemic attack or stroke.


 

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