What is renal artery stenosis?
Renal artery stenosis is a narrowing of the artery that carries blood to the kidney. It may occur in one or both arteries and its branches. When the artery is fully blocked then it is known as renal artery occlusion. As the artery narrows it reduces the blood flow to the kidney and this gradually compromises kidney function and even structure. As with narrowing of other arteries in the body, it tends to occur as a consequence of atherosclerosis where fatty plaques build up in the artery wall. Eventually blockage arises with a blood clot. Renal artery stenosis more often occurs in older patients and may account for about one-fifth of kidney diseases in people older than 50 years.