Renal Artery Aneurysm

A renal artery aneurysm is a bulge or "balloon" that forms in the wall of an artery that travels to a kidney. In most cases, there are no symptoms associated with renal artery aneurysms, and they are often discovered accidentally during examinations for other medical conditions. Renal artery aneurysms may be caused by congenital weakness in the walls of the arteries; certain diseases; infection; or trauma that has damaged the vascular walls. Most renal artery aneurysms are small, and do not require medical treatment. However, larger aneurysms that are in danger of rupturing may require surgery.

Symptoms of Renal Artery Aneurysm

Although most renal artery aneurysms do not cause symptoms, larger aneurysms may cause the following:

  • Flank pain
  • Hypertension
  • Reduced kidney function

In some cases, hematuria (blood in the urine) is a sign of a renal artery aneurysm. If the aneurysm ruptures, it can cause blood loss, renal failure or death.

Diagnosis of Renal Artery Aneurysm

Most renal artery aneurysms are diagnosed incidentally during imaging tests that are performed to investigate other medical conditions or symptoms. Renal duplex ultrasounds can also confirm the presence of renal artery aneurysms.

Treatment of a Renal Artery Aneurysm

For smaller aneurysms that are not at risk of rupturing, treatment may only involve monitoring. Other forms of treatment include medication, endovascular coiling or surgery.

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