Fibromuscular dysplasia, also called FMD, is a rare condition causing abnormal tissue development in the arteries. The causes for FMD are not clear. It mostly affects young and middle-aged women and may be hereditary. FMD can cause narrowing of the arteries, weakened, bulging arteries (aneurysm) and tears in the arteries.
The University of Kansas Health System is one of the only regional facilities to offer a dedicated program for fibromuscular dysplasia care. We’re proud to offer the most advanced options for diagnosis, treatment and symptom management of fibromuscular dysplasia.
What is fibromuscular dysplasia?
Fibromuscular dysplasia is serious condition that causes arteries to narrow and enlarge. Narrowed arteries (stenosis) reduce blood flow to vital organs, while enlarged arteries can bulge and even rupture.
It’s most common to see fibromuscular dysplasia in the arteries that lead to the brain or kidneys. However, other arteries can be affected also, including those leading to the heart, abdomen, legs and sometimes arms.
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Fibromuscular dysplasia symptoms and risks
Most people with FMD have no symptoms and may lead normal lives without ever having a problem. For some, however, FMD symptoms depend on which arteries are affected:
- For arteries that supply the brain, stroke, neck pain or swishing or ringing sound in the ear can be symptoms
- For arteries that supply the kidneys, symptoms can include high blood pressure, aneurysm or kidney failure (rare)
- For arteries that supply the legs and arms, experiencing pain during exercise can be a symptom
The causes of FMD are not clear. Researchers continue to look for clear risk factors, although there are some connections:
- Family history: FMD may have a connection to family history
- Gender: Women tend to have FMD more often than men, so researchers believe hormones may be involved
Fibromuscular dysplasia diagnosis and screening
To diagnose fibromuscular dysplasia, your doctor will take a complete medical history and perform a physical exam. Other tests your doctor may recommend include:
- Catheter-based angiography
- Computerized tomography (CT) angiogram
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Fibromuscular dysplasia treatment
The University of Kansas Health System’s fibromuscular dysplasia care program involves collaboration among many specialties, including vascular medicine, cardiology, nephrology, neurology, vascular surgery and genetics. Our health system offers advanced diagnosis, treatment and long-term management of FMD.
The specific treatment your care team recommends for fibromuscular dysplasia depends on a number of different factors:
- The location of the arteries that are affected
- Whether you have additional health concerns that need to be taken into consideration
- Your overall health
Treatment options for fibromuscular dysplasia include oral medication, angioplasty or surgical intervention. If your symptoms are not affecting your quality of life, your doctor may recommend watchful waiting rather than treatment.
Why choose us for fibromuscular dysplasia treatment
The doctors at The University of Kansas Health System who care for people with FMD are leaders in the prevention and treatment of vascular disease. Our doctors work together under one roof in an environment offering advanced facilities and diagnostics.
- Our risk reduction services help people take control of their heart health.
- Our University of Kansas Medical Center partners are known for innovative research into heart disease.
- We participate in a variety of clinical trials to improve prevention and treatment of heart disease.