Clinical management of renal artery fibromuscular dysplasia: temporal trends and outcomes

J Hypertens. 2014 Dec;32(12):2433-8; discussion 2438. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000000349.


Objectives: Renal artery fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is a heterogeneous condition with a broad and evolving phenotypic and angiographic spectrum. We documented therapeutic management in patients with renal artery FMD, by analyzing the medical records of hypertensive patients diagnosed with FMD at a single referral center from 1986 to 2012.

Methods: Characteristics at presentation, treatments and outcomes were compared between patients diagnosed with FMD before and after the year 2000. Characteristics at presentation and outcomes were compared between patients managed conservatively, by angioplasty or surgery.

Results: Patients seen since 2000 (n = 278) were older, had lower blood pressure (BP) levels and were more often managed conservatively than those diagnosed before 2000 (n = 134). Revascularized patients had more often focal FMD and were more often men, diagnosed with hypertension and FMD at a younger age, had higher BP levels and a higher prevalence of renal asymmetry or infarction than patients treated conservatively. At the most recent visit, BP was below 140/90 mmHg in two-thirds of the patients, in all treatment groups. Multifocal FMD was managed conservatively in 60% of the cases (older patients, less severe hypertension) with similar BP outcome compared to revascularization, even after adjustment for potential confounding factors.

Conclusions: The trends towards the diagnosis of FMD in older patients with less severe hypertension underscore the need for a careful selection of patients who might benefit from revascularization. This is especially true for multifocal FMD, which might be adequately managed by medication in a substantial number of cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiography
  • Angioplasty
  • Female
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / physiopathology
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / therapy*
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Kidney / blood supply
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / physiopathology
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome