Pharmacy Clinical Pearl of the Day: Fibromuscular Dysplasia


Fibromuscular dysplasia typically appears in the arteries leading to the kidneys and brain.

Clinical Pearl of the Day: Fibromuscular Dysplasia

Fibromuscular dysplasia is a condition that causes narrowing (stenosis) and enlargement (aneurysm) of the medium-sized arteries in your body.


  • Fibromuscular dysplasia appears most commonly in the arteries leading to the kidneys and brain.
  • Fibromuscular dysplasia can affect other arteries, including those leading to the legs, heart, abdomen and, rarely in the arms.
  • Symptoms may include high blood pressure, poor kidney function, headache, a pulsing ringing in the ears, dizziness, sudden neck pain, and stroke.
  • Causes may be hormones and genetics.
  • Risk factors may include gender, age, and smoking.
  • Diagnosis may include duplex ultrasound, CT angiogram, MRI, and catheter-based angiography.
  • Treatment may include:
    • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin), enalapril (Vasotec), or lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril) to help relax the blood vessels.
    • Angiotensin II receptor blockers. These medications also help relax the blood vessels. Examples of this class of medications include candesartan (Atacand), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), and valsartan (Diovan).
    • Diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), help remove excess fluid from the body and may be used with other blood pressure medications.
    • Calcium channel blockers, such as amlodipine (Norvasc), nifedipine (Procardia) and others, help relax your blood vessels.
    • Beta blockers such as metoprolol (Lopressor), atenolol (Tenormin) and others, slow the heartbeat and block adrenaline.


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