Carotid Disease And Stroke

The carotid arteries are the blood vessels supplying the front and middle parts of the brain. The rear portion of the brain is supplied by the vertebral arteries.

Blockage of these vessels can lead to a stroke leading to weakness, paralysis, visual disturbances and death. This type of stroke called ischaemic stroke accounts for almost 87% of the strokes that happen.

An ischaemic stroke can happen due to a problem with the heart or the vessels leading to the brain. People with damaged blood vessels are at a high risk of getting recurrent strokes.

carotid arteries

Risk Factors for Carotid Disease and Stroke

  1. Hypertension / High Blood pressure

  2. Diabetes
  3. Coronary Artery disease
  4. High Cholesterol ( Dyslipidemia)
  5. Smoking
  6. Alcohol consumption
  7. Physical Inactivity
  8. Increasing age
  9. Previous stroke or family history of stroke

Cross section of carotid artery showing plaque buildup


Imaging diseases like Doppler Ultrasound, CT or MRI angiogram are used to assess the damage in the carotid arteries and a decision to intervene is made on the basis of the patient’s symptoms and imaging findings.

Procedure to treat carotid disease

An open or minimally invasive procedure can be used to treat carotid disease depending on the patient and vessel condition.

Carotid artery stenting

This is an endovascular procedure where a balloon is used to angioplasty and open the area of narrowing followed by the placement of a stent.

Carotid artery stenting

Carotid endarterectomy

This is an open surgical procedure where the plaque narrowing the blood flow is taken out and the vessel repaired.

Risks with intervention

There is a risk of stroke during and any procedure for treating carotid disease

Carotid endarterectomy
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