Carotid Artery Stenosis

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Carotid artery stenosis is when the arteries on each side of the neck take oxygen-rich blood to the head are blocked due to a build up of plaque in the arteries. Over time, the stenosis can completely block the artery

Causes:

Carotid artery stenosis is caused by a build up of plaque in the arteries that go to the head

Symptoms:

The symptoms for carotid artery stenosis may go unnoticed until it is serious enough to deprive the brain of blood. These symptoms include

  • Sudden numbness or weakness
  • Sudden trouble speaking
  • Sudden trouble seeing
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Sudden severe headache

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the cardiologist to diagnose carotid artery stenosis by using imaging tests to diagnose the condition. Listed below are imaging tests the doctor may have performed on the patient to properly diagnose carotid artery stenosis

  • Ultrasound
  • MRI
  • CT angiography

Treatments:

Treatment for carotid artery stenosis depends on the severity of the blockage in the carotid arteries. The goal of treatment is to prevent a stroke. Treatment options the doctor may suggest include

  • Medication to control blood pressure
  • Medication to lower cholesterol

Lifestyle Changes:

The doctor may suggest the patient make some lifestyle changes to reduce the build up in the arteries. These suggestions may include

  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight
  • Reducing consumption of salt
  • Exercising regularly

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