Definition of Carotid Stenosis

Carotid StenosisCarotid Stenosis is narrowing of the carotid artery in the neck due to atherosclerosis.

Often carotid stenosis shows no symptoms until it results in a stroke.

The doctor may detect carotid stenosis during routine physical examination when listening to the carotid arteries with a stethoscope, which reveals the characteristic murmur sound, carotid bruit, that indicates the stenosis.

Anticoagulation therapy, most commonly aspirin therapy, helps reduce the risk of clot formation at the site of the stenosis though does not prevent or reduce atherosclerotic accumulations.

Endarterectomy, surgery to remove the occluding atheromas (collections of atherosclerotic plaque) and widen the arterial passage, becomes a viable treatment option when the stenosis reaches 60 or 70 percent.

Angiogram, in which the cardiologist uses dye and X-rays to examine the arteries, helps define the degree of occlusion. Stroke occurs when clot or atheroma fragments break free from the site of the stenosis and travel through the carotid artery to the brain.

See also CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE PREVENTION; SURGERY BENEFIT AND RISK ASSESSMENT.

Carotid Stenosis – Definition and Treatment
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