A renal artery aneurysm is a bulge or "balloon" that forms in the wall of an artery that travels to the kidneys. In most cases, there are no symptoms associated with a renal artery aneurysm, and they are often discovered accidentally during an examination 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 may have caused damage to the vascular walls. Most renal artery aneurysms are small and do not require any medical treatment. However, larger aneurysms that are in danger of rupturing, may require surgery.
Symptoms of Renal Artery Aneurysm
While most renal artery aneurysms do not cause any symptoms, larger aneurysms may cause:
- Flank pain
- Reduced kidney function
In some cases, hematuria, or blood in the urine may be 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 an imaging test that may be performed to investigate other medical conditions or symptoms. Diagnostic tests may include an ultra sound, MRI or CT scan. A renal duplex ultrasound may also confirm the presence of a renal artery aneurysm.
Treatment of a Renal Artery Aneurysm
Treatment may only involve monitoring for smaller aneurysms that are not at risk of rupture. Other forms of treatment may include medication, endovascular coiling or surgery.