After three neutral trials in which renal artery stenting failed to improve renal function or reduce cardiovascular and renal events, the controversy surrounding diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis and renovascular hypertension has led to paradigm shifts in the diagnostic algorithm. Noninvasive determination of earlier events (cortex hypoxia and renal artery hemodynamic changes) will supersede late sequelae (calcific stenosis, renal cortical thinning) Therefore, this review proposes the concept of renal penumbra in defining at-risk ischemic renal parenchyma. The complex field of functional renal magnetic resonance imaging will be reviewed succinctly in a clinician-directed fashion. (C) 2016 American Society of Hypertension. All rights reserved.