Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

Loading
Quick Facts

Benign Hypertensive Arteriolar Nephrosclerosis

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Dec 2019| Content last modified Dec 2019
Click here for the Professional Version
Get the full details
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Topic Resources

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.

The Urinary Tract

The Urinary Tract

What is benign hypertensive arteriolar nephrosclerosis?

Hypertension is high blood pressure, arterioles are small arteries, "nephro-" refers to kidneys, and "-sclerosis" is scarring or damage.

Benign hypertensive arteriolar nephrosclerosis is kidney damage caused by having high blood pressure for a long period of time.

  • Kidney damage usually gets worse slowly and can lead to severe chronic kidney disease

  • It's more common when your blood pressure has been high for a long time

  • Kidney damage is usually found on a blood test  

  • You don't usually have symptoms until you get kidney failure

  • Doctors try to control your high blood pressure with medicine

  • You may need dialysis (a machine filters your blood when your kidneys aren’t able to do it)

What causes hypertensive kidney damage?

Having high blood pressure for a long time puts stress on your blood vessels. Eventually, the stress damages the blood vessels so blood doesn't flow through them well. If blood flow to an organ is poor, the organ can be damaged.

Your risk of kidney damage from high blood pressure is higher if:

  • Your blood pressure isn't controlled very well

  • You've had high blood pressure for a long time

What are the symptoms of hypertensive kidney damage?

You usually don't have any symptoms unless you get kidney failure. Symptoms of kidney failure include:

  • Feeling weak and tired

  • Feeling sick to your stomach

  • Being less hungry than usual

  • Itching

  • Feeling sleepy or confused

How can doctors tell if I have hypertensive kidney damage?

Doctors suspect kidney disease if you've had high blood pressure for a long time and routine blood tests show your kidneys aren't working normally. To check for other causes of kidney disease, they may do:

  • Blood and urine tests

  • Ultrasound of your kidneys

How do doctors treat hypertensive kidney damage?

Doctors try to keep kidney damage from getting worse by:

If your kidneys are badly damaged, you may need:

  • Dialysis (a machine filters your blood when your kidneys aren’t able to do it)

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version

Also of Interest

Videos

View All
The Urethra
Video
The Urethra
The Ureter, Bladder, and Urethra
Video
The Ureter, Bladder, and Urethra

SOCIAL MEDIA

TOP