Stenosis of the carotid arteries : Symptoms and Treatment

In most cases, the cause of ischemic stroke is carotid stenosis.

carotid stenosis - a disease that is accompanied by a narrowing of the lumen of the two major vessels that provide blood flow to the brain.

Development of the disease contribute to risk factors such as unhealthy lifestyle, high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes.

reason for the narrowing of the carotid arteries in this disease is the atherosclerotic plaque that forms on the inside of the vessel wall by deposition of cholesterol and other fatty substances.

In some cases this leads to a complete blockage (occlusion) arteries and the development of the most serious complications - ischemic stroke.


Most often stenosis of the carotid arteries in the early stages is not shown any distinct complaints.Man can not know about the presence of this pathology to him until not survive transient ischemic attack or stroke.

Transient ischemic attack is the same acute ischemic stroke as a stroke, but lasts less than on

e hour, and subsequently broken functions independently recovered.

Therefore, even if during life had any symptoms of cerebrovascular accident, which did not last long and have left their mark, it is important to always consult with specialists.Perhaps , necessary to conduct additional studies to rule out carotid artery disease.

How is it diagnosed carotid

In most cases, stenosis of the carotid arteries can be detected specialist in the survey with the following studies: physical examination, Doppler blood vessels of the head and neck, oculo-plethysmography, computed tomography, and magnetic arteriographyresonance angiography.

On examination, the doctor may auscultation with a stethoscope to determine the presence of noise on the carotid artery.This method does not guarantee accurate diagnosis of the disease.Sometimes a minor obstacle to blood flow may provide a distinct loud sound, and can be dangerous artery occlusion can be silent.

Doppler ultrasound head and neck vessels (Doppler ultrasound) - a painless, non-invasive study, which is carried out by using sound waves beyond human hearing.The echo of the ultrasonic waves reflected from the moving blood vessel and tissue, and then formed into a visual image available to researchers.

-ocular plethysmography is used to indirectly study of carotid artery patency by measuring the pulse in its branches supplying the eye socket.

CT scan is a series of pictures of bundle tissues of the head, obtained by means of X-ray radiation.It can not reliably record the presence of carotid stenosis, but may be used to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms of a stroke.

Arteriography and angiography of the carotid arteries - a fluoroscopic study of the carotid arteries, vascular catheterization made after the upper or lower limbs, and the introduction of a special radiopaque substance.These procedures are invasive, and themselves carry a small risk of stroke as a complication.

Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is more informative than ultrasound, but also avoids the risks associated with X-ray radiation or contrast injection.

MRA - a type of magnetic resonance imaging, which uses a special magnetic field and radio-frequency radiation for generating a visual display of brain arteries.

Treatment of carotid stenosis

Treatment of this disease should be carried out specialist and depends on the severity of the process and the degree of narrowing of the arteries.

It may include the appointment of pharmacological drugs, lifestyle changes (increased physical activity, adherence to proper diet) and surgical treatment, the most common form of which is the endarterectomy.

Carotid endarterectomy - is a surgical procedure during which the lumen of carotid plaque are removed and body fat.

This operation is indicated for the prevention of stroke in patients suffering from severe atherosclerosis (narrowing of 60 to 99% lumen of the artery), and recurrent stroke in those who have suffered an acute ischemic stroke associated with carotid stenosis.

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