Rare Cause of Cephalalgia in a Young Woman – a Case Report

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2015-0045

Background: Young adults meeting hypertension diagnostic criteria have a lower prevalence of a hypertension diagnosis. Headache is a rather common symptom among young people. Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is an idiopathic, segmental, nonatherosclerotic and non-inflammatory disease of the muscular tunica of arterial walls, leading to stenosis of small and medium-sized arteries. Fibromuscular dysplasia is much more common than previously thought and is a treatable cause of secondary hypertension.
Case presentation: We present the case of an 18 y.o. young woman, with headache and high blood pressure. “White coat hypertension” was suspected. Clinical history with abrupt onset and increasingly difficult to treat hypertension especially in women, were suggestive for renal artery stenosis. Renal ultrasound and digital subtraction angiography confirmed the aspect of FMD. Sequential percutaneous renal artery angioplasty was later performed with improved evolution both from the clinical point of view and controlled blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg with minimal antihypertensive regimen. Angio CT exam of neck and brain arteries was performed, no other FMD typical lesions were identified.
Conclusions: Medical treatment is first indicated for the hypertensive patient. In this particular case percutaneous renal artery angioplasty showed significant improvement in reduction of antihypertensive treatment in a young patient with secondary hypertension. Further monitoring and management of this patient will include blood pressure measurements at 3-month intervals and renal function measurements annual, as well as non-invasive duplex ultrasonography at 12-month intervals, follow-up is indefinite. It remains challenging whether the patient can be medically managed on antihypertensive medication alone.

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