Challenges in diagnosing and treating a patient with renal artery fibromuscular dysplasia: case report

Julio César Rodríguez Goyes, Nicolás Ignacio Jaramillo Gómez
European Heart Journal. Case Reports 2019, 3 (1): yty144

Background: We present a patient with history of sinus venous thrombosis and hypertension during the last year. Her blood pressure was not controlled d espite drugs, diet, and exercise. She denied symptoms. She does not smoke nor drink alcohol. Her body mass index was 20 kg/m2 , NYHA Class I/IV.

Case summary: A 40-year-old Latin-American female patient, concerned because despite taking verapamil 160 mg/day, losartan 100 mg/day, and hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg/day her diastolic blood pressure was over 100 mmHg. Routine serum and urine lab tests and a transthoracic echocardiogram were done and were normal. The treatment was increased over the next consultations but without control of her blood pressure. She developed resistant hypertension, and she was taking four antihypertensive drugs and two diuretics. A first renal artery Doppler was normal. Because of a high clinical suspicion a renal angio-CT was performed showing bilateral fibromuscular dysplasia. The patient underwent a renal artery angioplasty with balloon with excellent results and better control of her blood pressure after the procedure. Over the next month, her doctors were able to decrease her treatment to two drugs at intermediate doses. Currently, she is doing well and asymptomatic.

Discussion: Renal artery fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) could be a challenging disease to be diagnosed. Patients with this condition may suffer from symptomatic and resistant hypertension. Many patients do not have abnormalities on their physical exam or in the routine lab tests. Treatment includes renal artery angioplasty if patient is symptomatic and blood pressure is resistant.

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