Carotid artery disease is the blockage of blood vessels that deliver blood to the brain and heard. The arteries known as carotid arteries. Carotid artery disease also called as carotid artery stenosis, which means narrowing of the carotid arteries. The narrowing is usually build up due to fatty substances and cholesterol deposits (plaque).This blockage increases risk of stroke.
Early stage carotid artery disease rarely causes any symptoms. Nearly blocked or fully blocked arteries only shows appearance of some sign and symptoms.
Weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs.
Speaking and understanding troubles
Sudden vision problems in both eyes or in one eye.
Some factors which increases the risk of carotid artery disease includes:
High Blood pressure
Lack of exercise
Carotid artery disease is typically caused by the buildup of plaques in arteries. Plaques contains:
Doctor will diagnose patient before proceeding to any treatment. During physical and clinical examination doctor will able to find all sign and symptoms for carotid artery disease. Doctor will do following some tests:
Carotid ultrasound: It is non-invasive test; with help of sound waves to measure flow and pressure of blood in vessels.
CT Angiography: To take X-Ray images of vessels.
Head CT scan: Takes image of brain to check any abnormalities or any bleeding.
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA): Takes 3D images to highlight arteries in your neck and head.
MRI Scan: Takes detailed image of brain tissue.
Cerebral Angiography: To check any abnormalities
Depending upon the result of diagnosis test the further treatment plan is decided. If the blockage is severe then the procedure is done to open the artery. Which will increase blood flow to the brain to prevent future stroke. Doctor may suggest following procedures:
Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA): This surgical procedure is performed for patients who have carotid atherosclerosis and TIAs or mild strokes. Procedure is performed under general anaesthesia, the small incision is made in the neck and location of blockage. Surgeons removes the clumped plaque and diseased portion of artery. Artery is sewn back together again to allow improved flow to the brain.
Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS): This is less invasive than carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and procedure is performed in catheterization laboratory. Small puncture is made in the groin. Small or tiny balloon is threaded by catheter to the area of the plaque. The balloon is inflated to widen the artery, and a small wire mesh coil (stent) is inserted to keep the artery from narrowing again.