The blood flow to the kidneys needs to be intact for the kidneys to function properly. Any interruption of or reduction in the blood flow can cause kidney damage or dysfunction and, if long-standing, increased blood pressure (hypertension). When blood flow in the arteries supplying the kidneys is completely blocked, the entire kidney or a portion of the kidney supplied by that artery dies (kidney infarction). Kidney infarction can lead to the inability of the kidneys to process and excrete the body's waste products (kidney failure).
Blood vessel disorders of the kidneys have a number of causes, including blockages in the renal arteries or veins, inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis), injury to the kidneys or blood vessels, and other disorders. For example, systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) and sickle cell anemia can affect the kidneys, sometimes leading to chronic kidney disease. Systemic sclerosis that affects the kidneys can also cause a hypertensive emergency (malignant hypertension). Blood vessel disorders of the kidneys are divided into the following topics:
The following are some English-language resources that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of these resources.
American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP): AAKP improves the lives of patients through education, advocacy, and promotion of a sense of community among patients with kidney disease.
American Kidney Fund (AKF): AKF provides information about kidney disease and kidney transplant, needs-based financial assistance to help manage medical expenses, webinars for medical professionals, and opportunities for advocacy.
National Kidney Foundation (NKF): This clearinghouse provides everything from information on the basics of kidney function to access to treatment and support for people with kidney disease, continuing medical education courses, and research opportunities and grant support for medical professionals.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK): General information on kidney diseases, including research discoveries, statistics, and community health and outreach programs.