Fibromuscular dysplasia can often be difficult to diagnose because many patients have no symptoms. In today’s post we will go into more detail about the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
The fibromuscular dysplasia is a disease , one or more arteries in the body develop abnormally in. This abnormal development, in turn, affects the walls of these large vessels, with a variety of consequences. For example, a narrowing of the vessels or stenosis, aneurysms or tears (arterial dissection).
Narrowings and tears can reduce blood flow to an artery. Consequently, this can lead to a number of symptoms, which we will discuss in more detail in the following article. The fibromuscular dysplasia mainly affects the arteries supplying the kidneys and the brain with blood.
At the same time, it is important to point out that this disease affects many more women than men. However, men, as well as some children, can also suffer from the disease.
In addition, it is difficult to determine how common this disease is in the general population. This is because patients with mild fibromuscular dysplasia often have no symptoms. As a result, their condition remains undetected.
The causes of fibromuscular dysplasia
At present, experts do not know what exactly leads to fibromuscular dysplasia. However, there are several theories on the subject :
For one, some theories suggest a genetic cause. However, the condition can affect the arteries of different family members in different ways. In addition, the severity of the disease can vary; and some family members may not have the disease at all.
At the same time, as mentioned earlier, the disease is far more common in women than in men. Some theories therefore suggest that the hormones could play a fundamental role in the development of this disease. However, some studies also suggest that taking birth control pills does not appear to be associated with dysplasia. Finally, there are other possible causes which include, among others, the following:
- The abnormal development of the arteries that flush the walls of blood vessels leads to insufficient oxygen
- The anatomical position and movement of the artery in the body
- Certain medications
- Tobacco use
Symptoms of Fibromuscular Dysplasia
One of the biggest problems with diagnosing this disease is that many patients have no symptoms. However, the symptoms that some patients experience depend on which arteries are affected. At the same time, symptoms depend on whether or not there are constrictions, tears, or aneurysms in the affected arteries in the affected arteries.
Pain or clinical symptoms associated with the disease originate in the organ to which the affected artery carries blood. With that in mind, some of the possible symptoms of fibromuscular dysplasia include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Blood tests that the abnormal function of the kidney uncover
- A sound that the doctor can hear with a stethoscope in his throat
- Buzzing in the ears
- Intracranial bleeding
It is important to remember that, as mentioned earlier, a particular patient’s symptoms will depend on which artery is affected by the disease.
Fibromuscular dysplasia: diagnosis
The diagnosis of fibromuscular dysplasia consists of an image examination of the blood vessels. Today there are many different techniques that specialists can use to perform these diagnostic tests, including:
- Doppler ultrasound: This is a special ultrasound technique for blood vessels.
- Arterial ACT: A contrast agent is administered into the veins.
- A special type of MRI.
In many cases, doctors need to use a procedure known as an arteriogram or angiography to diagnose this disease. A radiologist, vascular surgeon, cardiologist, or vascular specialist must perform this procedure.
Fibromuscular dysplasia: treatment
There is currently no cure for fibromuscular dysplasia. Therefore, treatment for this condition focuses on relieving symptoms and reducing complications.
Below are some of the medications that serve these purposes:
- Platelet aggregation inhibitors: For example, aspirin.
- Blood pressure medication.
- NSAIDs : Used to treat headache, which is common in patients.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning that in some cases it should be tried to improve blood circulation in narrow vessels. The specialists usually use a procedure such as balloon angioplasty or percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA).
However, the choice of these procedures will depend on the arteries affected, the presence of symptoms, and their severity.