Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Fibromuscular Dysplasia

The cause of fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is not yet known. Risk factors that may increase your chance of having FMD include:

  • Family history
  • Tobacco use
  • Hormones

FMD is more common in women. It affects three times as many women as men.


The specialists at Northwestern Medicine use advanced technologies to diagnose FMD including:

  • Arteriography or angiography: This X-ray of the affected artery uses a special dye injected into another artery.
  • Doppler ultrasound: This special ultrasound shows the speed and direction of blood flow through the blood vessels.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: This test can show bleeding in the brain or damage to brain cells caused by a stroke, and may also reveal any artery conditions that may have caused the symptoms.

Diagnostic Tests