eCureMe logo
  eCureMe home eCureMe log In Sign Up!
eCureMe Life : Your Healthy Living. Click Here!
Welcome, eCureMe.com medical contents search April 25, 2013
       eCureMe Life
       Medical Supplies
       Calorie Count
       Self-Diagnosis
       Physician Search
       Message Board
      E-mail Doctor
      E-mail Veterinarian
      Self-Diagnosis
      Health-O-Matic Meter
      Calorie Count
      Natural Medicine
      Vitamins & Minerals
      Alternative Living
      My Health Chart
      Diseases & Treatments
      Atlas of Diseases
      Sexually Transmitted
      Diseases
      Drug Information
      Illegal Drugs
      Lab & Diagnostic Tests
      Internal Medicine
      Women’s Health
      Pediatrics
      Eye Disorders
      Skin Disorders
      Headache
      Mental Health
      Radiology
      Neurology
      Allergy
      Resource Links
      Physician Directory
      Dentist Directory
      Hospital Directory





Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis

more about Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis


Carotid stenosis

  • The carotid arteries (common carotid, internal carotid, and external carotid) provide the main blood supply to the brain. These may become narrowed due to cholesterol plaque build up, leading to a condition known as carotid artery atherosclerosis.
  • Should there be significant narrowing of the carotid arteries, or ulcerations in the cholesterol-causing micro-emboli (plaque travels to the brain and blocks off small blood vessels), a Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack ("mini-Stroke") can occur.

  • May have none (asymptomatic)
  • Signs of Stroke: loss of vision, weakness (partial or total paralysis), speech difficulties, or other neurological signs
  • Signs of TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) are the same as signs of Stroke except that they completely resolve in 24 hours


  • Examination may reveal carotid bruits (a sound heard by the stethoscope)
  • Carotid ultrasound/duplex scans will make the diagnosis
  • An MRA scan (a type of scan performed with an MRI) can be more accurate and at times helpful
  • Carotid angiograms are used to prepare for surgery, or if diagnosis is not clear (dye is injected into the carotid arteries and X-Rays taken)

  • Asymptomatic -- occurs when the doctor, on examination, finds Carotid Stenosis, but there are no symptoms. In patients with severe stenosis (>70% blockage), treatment is still controversial.
  • Some medical literature supports doing early surgery to remove the cholesterol blockage using a procedure known as carotid endarterectomy. The procedure itself carries a risk of Stroke (about 2.7%). Overall, as suggested by the studies, the risk of Stroke will be decreased as a result of these procedures. However, a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that not all patients with severe carotid artery stenosis may need surgery (especially in the light of other risk factors).
  • Symptomatic -- the patient has had TIAs or Stroke in the distribution of the Carotid Stenosis):
    1. If Carotid Stenosis is >70%--surgery (carotid endarterectomy)
    2. If Carotid Stenosis is 50-69%--surgery has also been found to be beneficial
    3. If Carotid Stenosis is less than 50%--medical management with aspirin or Plavix
    4. Aspirin or Plavix may be given after surgery as well
    5. Cholesterol should be aggressively controlled (diet and/or medication)

  • Low cholesterol diet
  • Cholesterol lowering medications, especially the "statins" such as Pravachol and Lipitor (may decrease the risk of Stroke by 30%)
  • All other risk factors for Stroke should also be carefully evaluated and treated, e.g., blood pressure should be controlled, smoking should be discontinued, diabetes controlled, etc.

  • Special Consideration

- Both asymptomatic and symptomatic carotid artery disease often are often warning signs for coronary artery disease (cholesterol blockages in the arteries of the heart). Patients with carotid artery atherosclerosis should be carefully evaluated for coronary artery disease.






more about Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis


If you want your friend to read or know about this article, Click here






medical contents search

Home   |   About Us   |   Contact Us   |   Employment Ad   |   Help

Terms and Conditions under which this service is provided to you. Read our Privacy Policy.
Copyright © 2002 - 2003 eCureMe, Inc All right reserved.