What is Fibromuscular Dysplasia?

Fibromuscular Dysplasia, commonly called FMD, is a disease that causes one or more arteries in the body to have abnormal cell development. As a result, areas of narrowing (stenosis) may occur, along with aneurysm or tears (dissections) of the arteries. If any of these processes occur, symptoms may result. It is important to note that FMD is a different process from atherosclerosis (or clogging of the arteries), which is a more common cause of artery narrowing. FMD is most commonly found in the arteries that supply the kidneys with blood (renal arteries) and the brain (carotid arteries). Up to 75% of all patients with FMD will have the disease in the renal arteries or carotid arteries. Less commonly, FMD affects the arteries in the abdomen (supplying the liver, spleen and intestines), extremities (legs and arms), and heart (coronary arteries). More than one artery may have evidence of FMD in a significant number of people with the disease.

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