Fibromuscular dysplasia is a type of occlusive peripheral vascular disease.
Fibromuscular dysplasia usually occurs in women aged 40 to 60. The cause is unknown. However, there may be a genetic component, and smoking may be a risk factor. Fibromuscular dysplasia is more common among people with certain connective tissue disorders (for example, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, cystic medial necrosis [a condition in which the walls of the aorta degenerate], hereditary nephritis, or neurofibromatosis).
Fibromuscular dysplasia may affect the arteries that supply the kidneys (renal arteries), brain (carotid and intracranial arteries), stomach and intestine (intra-abdominal arteries such as the celiac and mesenteric arteries), or the arteries that branch off the lower part of the aorta to supply the legs (external iliac arteries). People may have fibromuscular dysplasia in more than one artery.
Fibromuscular dysplasia usually causes no symptoms regardless of location. Symptoms, when they occur, vary by location.
Intra-abdominal arteries: Vomiting or abdominal pain (rare)
Intracranial arteries: Symptoms similar to those of a cerebral aneurysm (such as headaches, pain above and behind the eye, numbness, weakness, paralysis on one side of the body, vision problems)
Leg arteries: Painful, aching, cramping, or tired feeling in the muscles of the leg (claudication), unusual sounds heard through a stethoscope that are caused by blood rushing through the narrowed artery (bruits), and decreased pulses in the femoral vein
Renal arteries: High blood pressure
Ultrasonography may suggest the diagnosis, but angiography is done to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment varies by location. It may involve angioplasty, bypass surgery, or aneurysm repair.
Smoking cessation is important.
Because atherosclerosis also blocks arteries, people with fibromuscular dysplasia and risk factors for atherosclerosis (such as high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol in the blood, and diabetes) may also need treatment of those disorders.
Bypass Surgery in the Leg
The following are English-language resources that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of these resources.
Vascular Cures: Fibromuscular dysplasia: Overview of fibromuscular dysplasia and information for people affected with the disease
Fibromuscular Dysplasia Society of America (FMDSA): Provides a comprehensive resource on fibromuscular dysplasia and resources to improve diagnosis and support people affected with the disease