Benign nephrosclerosis is a condition characterized by renal changes that affects people suffering from benign hypertension. The condition is closely related to hyaline arteriosclerosis.
It is estimated that each year approximately 25% of people in the United States who end up with terminal stage renal disease are actually suffering from hypertensive nephrosclerosis.
The very term-hypertensive nephrosclerosis referred to a specific clinical syndrome. Its characteristics are long-term essential hypertension, hypertension-associated retinopathy, left ventricular hypertrophy and minor proteinuria accompanied by progressive renal insufficiency. Diagnosis in such patients was set according to clinical findings.
Benign Nephrosclerosis Causes
The actual cause of hypertensive nephrosclerosis remains unknown. However, tests on rats have helped in identifying a gene which is a predisposing factor to hypertensive renal injury. Unfortunately, specific gene of this kind has not been identified in humans.
In order to properly identify hypertensive nephrosclerosis susceptibility genes one must undergo accurate hypertensive nephrosclerosis phenotyping. Still, even phenotyping can be quite difficult and it is generally hard to differentiate hypertensive nephrosclerosis from other renal conditions.
Benign Nephrosclerosis Clinical Characteristics
Patients may have symptoms and signs of elevated blood pressure. They may also develop some of the potential complications associated with hypertension such as heart failure, stroke etc. Uremia is another problem which affects certain number of patients. It is estimated that majority of people has been suffering from high blood pressure for more than 10 years. Their blood pressure has been poorly controlled and this is the explanation why many complications, including benign nephrosclerosis, eventually occur.
There are certain features which may help doctor to set the correct diagnosis apart from investigating patient's history. The condition is frequent among black people, is closely related to already existing hypertensive retinal changes and left ventricular hypertrophy. Furthermore, it is common for individuals suffering from long-standing or severe hypertension, those with minimal proteinuria (less than 0.5 g of proteins/d) and people in whom hypertension was diagnosed prior the onset of proteinuria. Finally, the condition is mostly likely in people in whom hypertension proceeded renal dysfunction as well as those with no evidence of another renal condition.
Physical findings include side effects of long-term hypertension such as hypertensive changes in the retinal vessels and left ventricular hypertrophy. Biopsy of certain tissues can be compatible with the working diagnosis.
Clinical Course of Benign Nephrosclerosis
Renal lesion almost never leads to severe damage to kidney tissues. This only occurs in highly susceptible individuals (predominantly black people). They may end up with uremia. Still, there is some functional impairment like loss of concentration ability and mild degree of proteinuria.