Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is an angiopathy that affects medium-sized arteries predominantly in young women of childbearing age. Among patients with identified FMD, renal involvement occurs in 60-75%, cerebrovascular involvement in 25-30%, visceral involvement in 9%, and arteries of the limbs in about 5%. FMD occurs in most other medium-to-large arteries as well, including the coronary arteries, the pulmonary arteries, and the aorta.
Symptoms include nonspecific problems, such as headache, light-headedness, vertigo, and tinnitus , neck pain or carotidynia , history of transient or permanent neurologic deficits of the, face or extremities (eg: weakness or numbness) , visual changes or speech difficulties etc.
Although the etiology of FMD is unknown, several other associated vascular pathologies have been identified. In 1982, Mettinger and Ericson scrutinized 4000 consecutively performed cerebral angiographies and found 37 that were consistent with FMD. Of these, 19 patients had aneurysms. In 1988, Cloft et al performed a meta-analysis including 498 FMD patients as well as examined 117 of their own patients and found a combined prevalence of aneurysms to be 7.3%.
It is the lack of specific symptoms and its potential to appear anywhere that makes FMD a challenge to detect early on. FMD is currently diagnosed through the use of both invasive and non-invasive tests. Non-invasive testing includes duplex ultrasonography, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and computed tomographic angiography.