Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD)

Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is a nonatherosclerotic, noninflammatory disease of the arteries most commonly involving the kidneys (renal arteries) and neck (carotid arteries). The disease typically presents in women around age 40, but it can occur in all age groups and also in men. Hypertension is the most common presenting finding, although patients may have a variety of symptoms including headaches, dizziness, and in some cases strokes are possible. Renal artery involvement may lead to renal artery stenosis and subsequent elevations in blood pressure and worsening kidney function. In addition to renal artery stenosis, FMD patients can also develop carotid artery dissections and stenosis, coronary artery dissections, and dissections/aneurysms/stenosis of other arteries.

There is no definite genetic etiology identified for FMD to date. There is evidence to support familial occurrence with AD inheritance in a small percentage of FMD patients. FMD may present with clinical features suggestive of other Mendelian vascular connective tissue disorders such as Ehlers Danlos syndrome vascular type. Genetics evaluation would help in assessing the individuals for other possible connective tissue etiology and recurrence risk counseling.

Treatments & Services

Because there is no cure for FMD, treatments are focused on managing the symptoms and complications of FMD. The following treatments and services are available to patients:

  • CT and MR Angiogram
  • Duplex Ultrasound
  • Medication
  • Lifestyle and Risk Factor Modification
  • Genetic Evaluation/Testing and Counseling
  • Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA)
  • Vascular Surgery

Did You Know? 

Emory Healthcare has a dedicated Fibromuscular Dysplasia Program.