Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Before you're tested for fibromuscular dysplasia, your doctor may also want to check for atherosclerosis, another condition that can narrow your arteries.
Tests for atherosclerosis usually include:
- A physical exam
- A fasting blood test to check your blood sugar and cholesterol levels
The tests you'll have to diagnose fibromuscular dysplasia could include:
- Doppler ultrasound. Doppler ultrasound can determine if an artery is narrowed by fibromuscular dysplasia. In this noninvasive test, an instrument called a transducer is pressed to your skin to send sound waves into your body. The sound waves bounce off red blood cells, and the ultrasound can estimate how fast your blood flows. If your blood is moving slowly through an artery, it may be due to fibromuscular dysplasia.
- Computerized tomography (CT) angiogram. A CT angiogram allows your doctor to check your arteries to see if they're narrowed or blocked. You'll receive an injection of a dye, and the doughnut-shaped CT scanner will be moved to take images of the artery your doctor believes is narrowed.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This test allows your doctor to see the soft tissues in your body. During an MRI, you lie on a table inside a long tube-like machine that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to capture images from inside your body. Using the images from the test, your doctor may be able to see the cluster of cells narrowing your artery.
- Digital subtraction angiogram. This test is used to check for fibromuscular dysplasia of the kidney. In this test, you'll first have an X-ray taken of the part of your body where your artery may be narrowed. Then you'll receive an injection of a dye to darken your arteries. Your doctor will then take another X-ray and digitally remove other tissues and blood vessels from the X-ray image. This allows your doctor to clearly see the artery that may be affected.
The most common form of fibromuscular dysplasia looks like a "string of beads" on imaging tests. Other, more aggressive forms of fibromuscular dysplasia have a smooth appearance.
Once you've been diagnosed with fibromuscular dysplasia, your doctor may repeat a Doppler ultrasound exam or a CT angiogram every six to 12 months to see if your condition is getting worse.
- Fibromuscular dysplasia information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/fibromuscular_dysplasia/fibromuscular_dysplasia.htm. Accessed July 13, 2010.
- Fibromuscular dysplasia. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec07/ch080/ch080d.html#sec07-ch080-ch080d-1667. Accessed July 13, 2010.
- Slovut DP, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of fibromuscular dysplasia. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 13, 2010.
- Fibromuscular dysplasia: Important facts you should know. Fibromuscular Dysplasia Society of America. http://fmdsa.org/files/FMDfactsheet2.pdf.Accessed July 13, 2010.
- Slovut DP, et al. Fibromuscular dysplasia. New England Journal of Medicine. 2004;350:1862.
- Plouin PF, et al. Fibromuscular dysplasia. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. 2007;2:1.
- Slovut DP, et al. Treatment of fibromuscular dysplasia of the renal arteries. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 13, 2010.