The kidneys regulate blood pressure by secreting hormones that can increase blood pressure. Narrowing of the kidney arteries (renal artery disease) can restrict blood flow to the kidneys. In response, the kidneys may secrete more hormones to raise blood pressure in hopes of improving kidney blood flow. In this manner, renal artery disease can promote high blood pressure. Paradoxically, high blood pressure can contribute to the formation of the atherosclerotic plaque, which typically causes renal artery disease.
Michael F. Magpile, MD
Specialty: Internal Medicine
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How are high blood pressure and renal artery disease linked?
What happens if my test results show I may have chronic kidney disease?
National Kidney Foundation answeredIf your test results show that you may have chronic kidney disease, your doctor will want to pinpoint your diagnosis and check your kidney function to help plan your treatment. The doctor may do the following:
- Calculate your glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which is the best way to tell how much kidney function you have. You do not need to have another test to know your GFR. Your doctor can calculate it from your blood creatinine, your age, body size and gender. Your GFR tells your doctor your stage of kidney disease and helps the doctor plan your treatment.
- Perform an ultrasound or CT scan to get a picture of your kidneys and urinary tract. This tells your doctor whether your kidneys are too large or small, whether you have a kidney stone or tumor and whether there are any problems in the structure of your kidneys.
- Perform a kidney biopsy, which is done in some cases to check for a specific type of kidney disease, see how much kidney damage has occurred and help plan treatment. To do a biopsy, the doctor removes small pieces of kidney tissue and looks at them under a microscope.
What are the dangers of coronary heart disease?
Heart disease can cause many conditions that affect the heart and its blood vessels, such as:
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- Angina. Chest pain and discomfort.
- Arrhythmia: Problems with the speed and rhythm of the heart.
- Heart failure: Weakening of the heart muscle that can cause shortness of breath, extreme tiredness and swelling in the feet, ankles and legs.
- Heart attack: Damage to or death of the heart muscle. If you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.