Renovascular disease (RVD) remains a common etiology of secondary hypertension. Recent clinical trials revealed unsatisfactory therapeutic outcomes of renal revascularization, leading to extensive investigation to unravel key pathophysiological mechanisms underlying irreversible functional loss and structural damage in the chronically ischemic kidney. Research studies identified complex interactions among various players, including inflammation, fibrosis, mitochondrial injury, cellular senescence, and microvascular remodeling. This interplay resulted in a shift of our understanding of RVD from a mere hemodynamic disorder to a pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic pathology strongly influenced by systemic diseases like metabolic syndrome (MetS), hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia. Novel diagnostic approaches have been tested for early detection and follow-up of RVD progression, using new imaging techniques and biochemical markers of renal injury and dysfunction. Therapies targeting some of the pathological pathways governing the development of RVD have shown promising results in animal models, and a few have moved from bench to clinical research. This review summarizes evolving understanding in chronic ischemic kidney injury.
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