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The Physiological Effects Of Renovascular Hypertension (Renal Hypertension) On The Body

1787 words - 7 pages

Renovascular hypertension, also known as renal hypertension, is a condition in which chronically elevated high blood pressure is caused by a narrowing of the renal arteries. The renal arteries are the arteries that bring blood to the kidneys (9). This blood is processed by which the kidneys filter the blood, removing some substances and sometimes adding others. The kidneys also have several functions, which can be negatively affected by renovascular hypertension. One function is the regulation of water and ion balances within the body. In order to do so, the kidney is also responsible for the removal of waste products and foreign chemicals from the blood by excreting them in the form of urine. Another function of the kidneys is gluconeogenesis, which refers to the kidneys’ ability to synthesize glucose from amino acids. The final function of the kidneys is the production of specific hormones or enzymes, such as erythropoietin, which controls erythrocyte production, and renin, which is an enzyme that influences the formation of angiotensin (10). Renovascular hypertension is currently the most common type of secondary hypertension as it accounts for 1% to 5% of cases in the United States. Renovascular hypertension is a type of secondary hypertension because it has a known cause (9). Hypertension that is idiopathic, or has an unidentifiable cause, is known as primary hypertension. The onset of this disease is typically seen in younger patients who are under the age of thirty or those who are above the age of fifty (4). Although renovascular hypertension typically is asymptomatic, a sudden onset of dangerously high blood pressure can lead doctors to such a diagnosis. In this paper, the physiological concepts involved with renovascular hypertension and the general function of the kidneys will be described, such as renal artery stenosis as the cause of renovascular hypertension, the mechanism of the renin-angiotensin system, the interaction of blood pressure and the renal system, treatments for renovascular hypertension, and how renovascular hypertension can lead to kidney disease.

Concept 1: Renal Artery Stenosis as the Cause of Renovascular Hypertension

Renovascular hypertension is most commonly caused by prerenal factors, which are conditions that result in a decrease in blood flow to the kidney, which is also known as hypoperfusion. In many cases, the prerenal factor that causes renovascular hypertension is renal artery stenosis. Renal artery stenosis is defined as the narrowing of the renal artery that produces a decrease in blood flow into the kidneys (3). Renal artery stenosis is most often caused by atherosclerosis (1). Atherosclerosis occurs when there is a buildup of fatty substances within the walls of the arteries, which is what causes the narrowing. The fatty substances, like cholesterol and triglycerides, harden over time and become plaque, which increases the resistance of the arteries by decreasing the circumference, but also by...

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