Renal artery disease is usually caused by atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries due to the build up of fatty deposits or plaques along the artery wall. This build-up can reduce blood-flow to one or both kidneys, or block flow completely, depending on the location of the plaque.

Renal artery disease can also be caused by fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD), a condition usually found in young women between the ages of 20 and 40. FMD results in the overgrowth of tissue inside the artery in a characteristic “chain of beads” pattern. This condition can affect other arteries, as well.

Renal artery disease can result in: