Fibromuscular Dysplasia

Fibromuscular Dysplasia

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Duke neurological and vascular specialists diagnose and treat fibromuscular dysplasia, a condition that results when abnormal cell development leads to narrowing (stenosis) or bulging (aneurysm) in the arteries leading to the brain and kidneys. While fibromuscular dysplasia cannot be cured, it can be treated effectively. We work with a team of experts to diagnose fibromuscular dysplasia. We help you manage complications such as high blood pressure, and minimize the risk of kidney failure, ruptured aneurysm or stroke.

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About Fibromuscular Dysplasia

Once considered a rare disorder, fibromuscular dysplasia is now seen more frequently. It requires expert care to decrease the serious consequences that can result. The disease commonly affects the carotid arteries in the neck, through which blood flows to the brain. When they become narrowed by stenosis or bulge, aneurysm or stroke can result.

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Your symptoms and condition will indicate whether cholesterol-lowering drugs, high blood pressure medications, and blood thinners are prescribed to lower your risk for serious complications. 


A small flexible balloon is used to open the narrowed or blocked artery, and a small cylindrical device called a stent is placed to keep the blood vessel open. While there are some risks to this procedure, preliminary evidence suggests this combination is more effective than medication alone at preventing stroke.

Cerebral Artery Bypass

Reroutes blood flow around the weakened artery using a blood vessel from another part of your body, usually the leg. The new artery bypasses the damaged blood vessels and restores healthy blood flow to the brain.

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CT and MRI Scans

High resolution, 3-D images of the brain and its blood vessels are analyzed to look for potential narrowing (stenosis) or bulging (aneurysm) in arteries that may signal an increased risk for stroke or ruptured aneurysm.

Cerebral Angiography

A catheter is inserted into a large artery and threaded through the circulatory system. A contrast agent is injected to capture images that allow neuroradiologists -- specialists in the nerves found in the brain and spine -- to view abnormal connections within arteries and veins, and plan appropriate treatment.


A catheter is inserted into a large artery and threaded from the groin to the neck, and a contrast agent or dye is injected and travels through the brain’s arteries. X-ray images are used to determine if arteries are narrowed, blocked or bulging.

Best Neurology, Neurosurgery in North Carolina
When it comes to your care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital's nationally ranked neurology and neurosurgery program was named best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.

Why Choose Duke

Advanced Training
Our physicians and surgeons are fellowship-trained specialists, meaning they have completed additional years of training in the treatment of diseases that affect the brain and its major arteries. 

Coordinated, Comprehensive Care
Our specialized staff coordinates the comprehensive care of everyone who comes to Duke -- from your initial clinic or emergency room visit, through your hospital care and your transition home or, if necessary, to a rehabilitation facility.

Emergency Diagnosis and Response
Our team is the region's leading resource for brain health emergencies, including aneurysms and stroke.   Speed of treatment is critical for full repair and recovery, and blood flow disorders in the brain can be difficult to diagnose.  Our experience ensures we make accurate, prompt assessments to direct your care.

Regional Referral Center
We receive referrals from across the Southeastern U.S. to confirm a diagnosis or prepare a treatment plan.  

A Team Approach
Your medical team includes specially trained radiologists who capture and interpret images of blood vessels in your brain, neurologists who understand the role of the brain and spinal column in the nervous system and other highly trained specialists. We work together to craft the treatment plan that is best for your condition.

Imaging Expertise, Innovative Surgeries
We use the latest imaging technologies to review your situation and present the safest and best options. Likewise, we use the most advanced medical and surgical techniques to ensure you receive the most effective solution.