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Carotid artery disease occurs when fatty deposits (plaques) clog the blood vessels that deliver blood to your brain and head (carotid arteries). The blockage increases your risk of stroke, a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or seriously reduced.
Carotid artery occlusion refers to complete blockage of the artery. When the carotid arteries are obstructed, you are at an increased risk for a stroke , the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S ...
Symptoms are only likely to appear once one of your carotid arteries has become fully blocked or nearly blocked. A carotid artery is usually considered nearly blocked when it’s more than 80 ...
When the carotid artery is blocked, a stroke could take place. By knowing the facts about the disease, early treatment can be administered. The best way to tell if there is a problem with the carotid arteries is by recognizing the symptoms of a stroke. These are collectively known as TIA (transient ischemic attacks).
Clogged arteries in carotid artery disease may cause stroke precursors known as transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs. TIAs may produce the following symptoms: TIAs may produce the following symptoms:
When plaque builds up, it narrows your coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. Eventually, the decreased blood flow may cause chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, or other coronary artery disease signs and symptoms. A complete blockage can cause a heart attack. Because coronary artery disease often develops over decades ...
Carotid artery stenosis is a narrowing or constriction of any part of the carotid arteries, usually caused by atherosclerosis.
The carotid artery is the large vertical artery in red. The blood supply to the common carotid artery starts at the arch of the aorta (left) or the subclavian artery (right). The common carotid artery divides into the internal carotid artery and the external carotid artery. Plaque often builds up at that division, and a carotid endarterectomy cuts open the artery and removes the plaque. lumen of the common carotid artery (bottom), and the internal carotid artery (left) and external carotid artery (right).Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is a surgical procedure performed by vascular surgeons used to reduce the risk of stroke by correcting stenosis (narrowing) in the common carotid artery or internal carotid artery. Endarterectomy is the removal of material on the inside (end(o)-) of an artery. Atherosclerosis causes plaque to form within the carotid artery walls, usually at the fork where the common carotid artery divides into the internal and external carotid artery. The plaque build up can narrow or constrict the artery lumen, a condition called stenosis. Rupture of the plaque can cause the formation of a blood clot in the artery. A piece of the formed blood clot often breaks off and travels (embolizes) up through the internal carotid artery into the brain, where it blocks circulation, and can cause death of the brain tissue, a condition referred to as ischemic stroke. Sometimes the stenosis causes temporary symptoms first, known as TIAs, where temporary ischemia occurs in the brain, spinal cord, or retina without causing an infarction. Symptomatic stenosis has a high risk of stroke within the next 2 days. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend that patients with moderate to severe (50–99% blockage) stenosis, and symptoms, should have "urgent" endarterectomy within 2 weeks. When the plaque does not cause symptoms, patients are still at higher risk of stroke than the general population, but not as high as patients with symptomatic stenosis. The incidence of stroke, including fatal stroke, is 1–2% per year. The surgical mortality of endarterectomy ranges from 1–2% to as much as 10%. Two large randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that carotid surgery done with a 30-day stroke and death risk of 3% or less will benefit asymptomatic patients with ≥60% stenosis who are expected to live at least 5 years after surgery. Surgeons are divided over whether asymptomatic patients should be treated with medication alone or should have surgery. In endarterectomy, the surgeon opens the artery and removes the plaque. The plaque forms and enlarges in the inner layer of the artery, or endothelium, hence the name of the procedure which simply means removal of the endothelium of the artery. A newer procedure, endovascular angioplasty and stenting, threads a catheter up from the groin, around the aortic arch, and up the carotid artery. The catheter uses a balloon to expand the artery, and inserts a stent to hold the artery open. In several clinical trials, the 30-day incidence of heart attack, stroke, or death was significantly higher with stenting than with endarterectomy (9.6% vs. 3.9%). The Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial (CREST) funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that the results of stents and endarterectomy were comparable. However, the European International Carotid Stenting Study (ICSS) found that stents had almost double the rate of complications.
Carotid artery dissection is a separation of the layers of the artery wall supplying oxygen-bearing blood to the head and brain and is the most common cause of stroke in young adults. (In vascular medicine, dissection is a blister-like de-lamination between the outer and inner walls of a blood vessel, generally originating with a partial leak in the inner lining.)