Fibromuscular Dysplasia

Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is a rare blood vessel disorder in which some of the strong, flexible cells of arteries are replaced with cells that are more fibrous. Fibrous cells are less strong and also less flexible. This change in composition of the arteries leads them to becoming stiffer and more prone to damage.

Most cases of FMD affect the carotid and renal arteries. The carotid arteries are in the neck and connect the heart and the brain. The renal arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from the aorta to the kidneys. Fibromuscular dysplasia can also affect the arteries to the intestines (the mesenteric arteries), the arteries to the legs or arms, and arteries in other parts of the body, although this is less common. Many times, arteries in more than one location are affected by FMD. FMD can lead to high blood pressure, aortic stenosis, aneurysm and sometimes aortic dissection.

Causes of Fibromuscular Dysplasia

It is still not clear what causes FMD. However, certain conditions, traits or habits may raise your risk. These conditions are known as risk factors and include:

Non-modifiable risk factors: These factors are irreversible and cannot be changed. The more of these risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing this condition.

  • Family history/Genetics

Modifiable risk factors: These factors can be modified, treated or controlled through medications or lifestyle changes.

  • Excessive amount of stress

Other conditions that contribute to FMD

  • Injury to the artery walls
  • Loss of oxygen supply to the blood vessel wall

Symptoms of Fibromuscular Dysplasia

Some people with FMD do not have any symptoms, but symptoms can occur if the stenosis restricts blood flow through the affected artery. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Lightheadedness
  • Bruit noise
  • Poor kidney function
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss

Diagnosis of Fibromuscular Dysplasia

Doctors may use a series of tests to diagnose FMD. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests:

Diagnostic tests and procedures

Treatment of Fibromuscular Dysplasia

There are several treatments available for patients with FMD. Your doctor will talk to you about the type of treatment that is best for you, based on the type of FMD you have, how severe it is, and your overall health. Treatment options for include:

Lifestyle changes

Medications

  • ACE inhibitors will help blood vessels relax and open up, leading to a lower blood pressure.
  • Angiotensin II receptor blockers will help blood vessels open up, leading to a lower blood pressure.
  • Beta blockers will help reduce your blood pressure.

Medical and Surgical procedures



Saint Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
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Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus
600 River Avenue
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 363-1900
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Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
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Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
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RWJ University Hospital Hamilton
1 Hamilton Health Place
Hamilton, NJ 08690
(609) 586-7900
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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
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RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
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Fibromuscular Dysplasia Treatment & Care

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