Carotid artery stenosis: symptoms and treatment

All arteries in the body transporterowych the oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the organs. On each side of the neck in humans are located carotid arteries, which deliver oxygen to the brain. Carotid artery stenosis — a narrowing of the lumen of the vessels, which is disrupted blood flow to the brain.



Often the cause of stenosis is atherosclerosis — a disease provoked by a violation of lipid metabolism and deposition of cholesterol on vascular walls. Because this disease can sometimes be a narrowing or blockage of blood vessels, which can lead to stroke or heart attack. Carotid artery stenosis occurs under the influence of such factors as:

  • Heredity: the risk of disease increases if a person’s family there were cases of atherosclerosis.
  • Age: the atherosclerosis develops mainly in the elderly. In men, the disease occurs most often to 75 years, women, on the contrary, after 75 years.
  • High cholesterol: on the walls of the vessels, increasing cholesterol plaques, thus complicating their operation.
  • Hypertension: high pressure in the blood vessels leading to their narrowing.
  • Smoking provokes vasospasm, which disrupted their operation.
  • Diabetes: not taken up by the cells glucose circulates with the blood. Excess sugar is slowly destroying vessel walls, causing them to lose their elasticity.
  • Obesity: excess body mass increases the risk of diabetes, provoking atherosclerosis.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: if lack of physical activity blood circulation, it negatively affects the function of blood vessels.
  • Carotid artery stenosis may occur as a result of coronary heart disease.

    Стеноз сонной артерии: симптомы и методы лечения


    The disease is asymptomatic, and therein lies its danger. But patients from time to time there are transistor ischemic attack, of which it is impossible not to notice. The cause of this condition is a temporary blocking of an artery by a blood clot, which disturbed cerebral blood flow. The transistor characteristics of the attacks usually last a few minutes. The symptoms of this condition include:

    • sudden loss of vision in both or one eye;
    • weakness;
    • the loss of sensation of limbs or other body parts;
    • speech disorders;
    • brain fog;
    • difficulty swallowing;
    • dizziness.
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    Stenosis of the carotid artery, or rather, transient attack, a dangerous progression of ischemic stroke. In people who have experienced several such situations in 10 times increases the likelihood of developing a major stroke. This disease, often resulting in the death of a person occurs:

    • if the artery narrows due to the attachment of the thrombus to the wall;
    • when blockage of a major vessel of the brain by a blood clot.

    If a person at least once in my life, there were signs transient ischemic attack, it should immediately see a doctor and time to start treatment.


    To diagnose stenosis of the arteries, the physician must assign the patient a number of studies:

  • Angiography of the carotid arteries: the vessels in the leg or the arm implant a catheter, which is applied to the carotid artery. Then the doctor inserts through a contrast substance into the vessel, makes it visible in x-rays. Patient done the study artery. The study allows to evaluate its permeability, the risk of stroke and to determine the tactics of treatment.
  • Doppler ultrasound of neck vessels allows to evaluate the functioning of the carotid arteries.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: performed in cases of suspected stroke or if the patient happened transient ischemic attack. Imaging allows to identify brain damage.
  • Oculo-plethysmography: the measurement of the pulsation in the branches of the carotid arteries.
  • CT angiography — getting 3D images of the vessels. Allows to estimate the degree of stenosis of the blood vessels of the neck and spine.
  • Treatment and lifestyle

    If a person is diagnosed stenosis of the cervical vessels, the doctor determines the treatment tactics. Drug therapy includes:

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    • anticoagulants — drugs that prevent blood clots (Clopidogrel, Warfarin, Aspirin, Chimes);
    • a means of reducing the level of blood cholesterol (Atorvastatin, Simvahexal).

    If the carotid arteries are large blood clots and atherosclerotic plaque, the physician may make the decision to perform surgery. Stenosis of blood vessels is carried out:

  • Carotid endarterectomy: is performed both under General and under local anesthesia. The patient made an incision on the neck, in place of the projection of the stenotic carotid artery. The vessel is incised, it is removed from the clot and (or) the plaque. Then the surgeon stitches the artery and the sutures on the incision. Operation to restore blood flow to the brain.
  • Carotid angioplasty and stenting: this treatment is applicable for people who are contraindicated for major surgery. Instead of anesthesia for this procedure use intravenous sedatives. Into the vessel is injected balloon catheter, which is sent to scensny an artery. The balloon increases in size and eliminates the spasm of the vessel. He then removed, and in its place is implanted a stent (similar to a filter). The device remains in the vessel forever, thus preventing blockage.
  • After the operation the patient remains in the hospital no more than 3 days. To daily activities you can return in 7 to 10 days, assuming no complications.

    People with stenosis of the arteries needs to make adjustments to your lifestyle:

    • stop Smoking and alcohol consumption;
    • monitor blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar;
    • to limit the consumption of foods high in fat and cholesterol;
    • to control body weight;
    • to provide regular physical activity (at least 30 minutes daily).
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    For the prevention of vascular disease is important to regularly be seen by a doctor.