The carotid arteries provide the main blood supply to the brain.
They are located on each side of the neck under the jaw line.
Carotid artery disease is a condition in which these arteries
become narrowed or blocked. This narrowing or blockage occurs
when sticky, fatty substances called plaque build up in the inner
lining of the arteries.
Diagnosis and Treatment of CIMT
The plaque may slowly block or narrow the carotid artery or cause
a clot to form. Clots can lead to stroke.
Risk factors for blockage or narrowing of the arteries include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Heavy alcohol use
- Kidney disease, especially when dialysis is needed
- Cocaine abuse
- Family history of stroke
- Increasing age
Two uncommon conditions, Marfan syndrome and fibromuscular
dysplasia (abnormal growth or development of the cells in the
walls of carotid arteries), may also cause narrowing of the
Individuals may not have any symptoms, or they may have symptoms
of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). Some of these
- Weakness in one part of the body
- Blurred vision
- Loss of memory
- Problems with speech and language
Loss of sensation
- Testing the carotid arteries every year
- Medicine and diet to lower cholesterol and control blood
- Blood-thinning medicines to lower the risk of stroke
Surgery, called carotid endarterectomy, to remove the buildup in
the carotid arteries may help prevent new strokes from occurring
in persons with large blockages in their neck arteries.
Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart
and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While
various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of
our hospitals offer every treatment and diagnostic technology
highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and
vascular services at a Texas Health hospital near you.