FMD seems to be most commonly found in the renal (kidney) arteries and in the corotids. There are a few different types of FMD but the most common creates the appearance of a string of beads on angiography. The middle layer of the artery is abnormal and makes the artery wall bumpy and it creates webs within the artery. Blood then has a hard time getting through. It can lead to blockages, clots, anneuryms and dissections.
It’s not very common at all in the coronary arteries. I know of a few other people, and am actually in a study with a doctor in Canada who is researching FMD of the coronary arteries. My coronary arteries are not bead-like; they are skinny, really bendy and branch off in odd ways. But I have beading in several other arteries in my body — the corotids, renal, and several other places. It was diagnosed at Mayo by doing a CT of my body.
Because there’s so little out there known about FMD, I worked with a woman I met thru an online support group to start a Midwest women’s support group. You can check out our website if you like: http://www.mwva.org
I so wanted to help create support and information for FMD and/or SCAD because nothing was out there about either condition. I was so frustrated. So, it’s great to see both subjects getting more and more attention. And it’s due to the internet connections we’ve made! I “met” you and Laura on WomenHeart around the same time as met the other woman, Kari, with FMD.
I can email you some articles if you’re interested in more about FMD. I strongly encourage you to be tested. It can start with your general MD or cardio listening to the corotid arteries, and listening to the abdominal arteries. If the blood sounds swooshy, or sounds turbulent, there is cause to look further. Ultrasounds are a great test as well.