Early diagnosis and treatment of kidney (renal) artery disease can help prevent high blood pressure and lower your risk for kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask
To diagnose kidney artery disease, your physician will ask:
- About your medical history, including whether you have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or diabetes
- About any history of heart disease in your family
- If you smoke or have ever smoked.
- About medications you take
- About what you eat
Physical Exam and Tests
Your physician will also perform a physical examination that includes listening through a stethoscope for any sounds of turbulent blood flow in your abdomen, which can indicate a narrow or blocked artery.
Based on the information gathered, your doctor may recommend additional testing. To better assess the size and location of any blockages and to gather the detailed information needed to develop an effective treatment plan, the physician may also recommend one or more of the following tests:
- Duplex Ultrasound Test: An ultrasound test allows your physician to see blockages or narrowing in your blood vessels and determine the size of your kidneys.
- Computerized Tomographic Angiography (CTA): This test, also called CTA or CT Angiography, uses x-rays and computers to create detailed images of the arteries and the blood flow within them.
- Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA): This testuses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce two- or three-dimensional images of the arteries.
- Angiography: This diagnostic procedure provides detailed pictures of your heart and its blood vessels. It is performed by a specially trained cardiologist, called an interventional cardiologist.
To learn more about kidney (renal) artery disease, including what causes it and how it can be treated, click here.