What are the signs and symptoms of fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD)?

Updated: Jul 27, 2018
  • Author: James A Wilson, MD, MSc, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Most patients with craniocervical FMD are asymptomatic. No particular symptoms are pathognomonic for FMD. Any history compatible with a stroke in younger individuals may indicate underlying FMD. The family history should include information about relatives who have had vascular events at a young age.

In symptomatic patients, manifestations of FMD may include the following:

  • 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

  • Symptoms compatible with a sentinel bleed (eg, a sudden explosive headache followed later by neck stiffness): May indicate an aneurysm that may be associated with FMD

  • Symptoms suggestive of noncraniocervical FMD, such as hypertension (renal involvement), abdominal pains or a history of ischemic bowel (mesenteric or visceral artery involvement), or intermittent leg claudication (extremity artery involvement)


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