Epidemiology of fibromuscular dysplasia: A review of the literature

Vasc Med. 2016 Aug;21(4):376-81. doi: 10.1177/1358863X16637913. Epub 2016 Apr 11.


Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is a non-atherosclerotic, non-inflammatory disease of medium sized arteries that has been described in multiple anatomic territories with a wide variety of manifestations (e.g. beading, stenosis, occlusion, aneurysm, or dissection). While the first case of FMD is thought to have been described over 75 years ago, the causes, natural history, and epidemiology of FMD in the general population remain incompletely understood. This article reviews important historical and contemporary contributions to the FMD literature that inform our current understanding of the prevalence and epidemiology of this important disorder. A particular focus is given to studies which form the basis for FMD prevalence estimates. Prevalence estimates for renal FMD are derived from renal transplant donor studies and sub-studies of clinical trials of renal artery stenting; however, it is unclear how well these estimates generalize to the overall population as a whole. Newer data are emerging examining the genetic associations and environmental interactions with FMD. Significant contributions to the understanding of FMD have come from the United States Registry for Fibromuscular Dysplasia; however, many unanswered questions remain, and future studies are required to further characterize FMD epidemiology in general populations and advance our understanding of this important disorder.

Keywords: environmental factors; epidemiology; fibromuscular dysplasia; genetics; prevalence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Autopsy
  • Computed Tomography Angiography
  • Environment
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / diagnostic imaging
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / epidemiology*
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / genetics
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia / pathology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings
  • Life Style
  • Phenotype
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors