Your kidneys are 2 bean-shaped organs that make urine, balance your body’s water and mineral levels, and filter waste out of your blood.
Atheroembolic kidney disease is kidney failure caused when tiny pieces of hard, fatty material in your arteries break off and block the small arteries that supply blood to your kidneys. Those broken-off pieces of hard, fatty material are called emboli.
Atheroembolic kidney disease can affect one or both kidneys
If both kidneys are severely affected, you can get kidney failure
It's usually caused by surgery or a medical procedure on an artery
Kidney failure is detected by a blood test
Doctors can’t fix the kidney damage , but they'll try to prevent it from getting worse
You may need kidney dialysis (a process to filter your blood when your kidneys aren’t able to do it)
When you have hardening of your arteries (atherosclerosis), your arteries clog up with hard, fatty material. Pieces of this fatty material can break off and float in your blood until they get stuck in a small blood vessel. If enough of that material gets into blood vessels in one organ, that organ can fail.
Atheroembolic kidney disease most often happens after you have surgery or a procedure involving your aorta (the largest artery in your body). Pieces of fatty material stuck to the wall of your aorta can break off by accident during the procedure and travel to your kidneys. Sometimes the fatty material breaks off on its own.
The fatty material can also block blood vessels in other organs in your belly, such as your intestines or pancreas.
Doctors may suspect atheroembolic kidney disease if routine blood or urine tests show your kidneys aren't working normally after you've had surgery or a procedure on your aorta. To know for sure, they'll sometimes do:
Doctors can't reverse the kidney damage, but they can treat you to help prevent more emboli with:
If your kidneys have been badly damaged, you may need:
Dialysis (a machine filters your blood when your kidneys aren’t able to do it)