Carotid artery disease is a condition in which the carotid arteries become narrowed or blocked. When the arteries become narrowed, the condition is called carotid stenosis.The carotid arteries provide the main blood supply to the brain. They are located on each side of your neck. You Can feel their pulse under the jawline.
Carotid artery disease occurs when sticky, fatty substances called plaque build up in the inner lining of the arteries. See also: Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)The plaque may slowly block or narrow the carotid artery or cause a clot (thrombus) to form more suddenly. Clots Can lead to stroke.
Risk factors for blockage or narrowing of the arteries include:
Two uncommon conditions called Marfan syndrome and fibromuscular dysplasia (abnormal growth or development of the cells in the walls of carotid arteries) may also cause narrowing of the carotid arteries.
You may not have any symptoms of carotid artery disease.You may have symptoms of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Some of these symptoms include:
Exams and Tests
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam. The health care provider may hear an abnormal sound called a bruit when using a stethoscope to listen to the blood flow in your neck. A physical exam may also reveal clots in the blood vessels of the eye. If you have had a stroke or TIA, a nervous system (neurological) exam will reveal other problems.
The risks depend on the type of arteriogram performed. Talk to your doctor about the risks involved before you have the test.
Risks may include: