Carotid Artery Disease

Menu

Definition

The carotid arteries are the main arteries in your neck that supply blood to your brain. Plaque accumulates inside your arteries as you age and if too much plaque builds up in your carotid artery, it can cause the artery to narrow (carotid stenosis). Small clots can form, then break off and travel to the brain, causing a minor or major stroke.

Symptoms

You may not have symptoms but still have a significant narrowing.
Symptoms include stroke, weakness of one side of your body or extremity, slurred speech, or blindness in one eye

What are the risk factors?

History of smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes

How is it diagnosed?

  • Ultrasound of the neck arteries (carotid ultrasound)
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Angiogram

How is it treated?

Carotid artery stenosis can be treated with medications such as aspirin and a cholesterol lowering agent, surgery (carotid endarterectomy), or a stent.

How do I find a physician to treat my condition?

For further questions or to make an appointment please contact the Vascular Health Alliance at 864-454-8272.