Carotid artery stenosis is termed as the narrowing down of the inner surface of the carotid artery. It is also called as atherosclerosis. The carotid artery is a large artery. Its pulse can be observed on the sides of the neck right under the jaw. While the supply of internal artery goes to the brain, the supply of external artery will go to the face. The internal carotid arteries will be narrowed due to the atheromatous plaque which will be inflamed condition. The plaque can be in stable condition as well.
Risk for stroke
Emboli present in the plaque will travel through the blood vessels. With the constriction of the artery, the size of the vessel will be reduced. There might be a risk to stroke with the restriction of blood supply. The block can be either temporary or permanent. If it is transient ischemic attack, it will be temporary in nature. On the other hand, if it is thromboembolic stroke, there will be a permanent effect. The risk for stroke will be assessed with or without the presence of symptoms. Through image based diagnosis, the degree of Carotid artery stenosis will be assessed. Ultrasonography is the first of its kind diagnostic measure as it is simple and non-invasive.
CTA (Computed Tomography Angiogram) and MRA (Magnetic Imaging Angiogram) are widely used procedures to diagnose the disease.
Signs and symptoms
If a patient gets a transient ischemic attack (TIS), it is a warning sign. Within the following 2 days, permanent strokes are likely to affect the person. TIS attacks will stay for less than 24 hours. In some instances, the loss of sensation in the limb and the trunk area will take place. There is the possibility of loss of sight as well especially in one eye. Artery sounds and ringing noise in the ears are less predominant symptoms.
The treatment to patient suffering with Carotid artery stenosis is meant to reduce the risk of stroke. By going for carotid endarterectomy, the risk of stroke can be reduced to 5 years by 50%. The mortality rate in patients suffering with carotid endarterectomy will be less than 3%. As per clinical guidelines, patients suffering with carotid endarterectomy should go through medication. Anti-hypersensitive, anti-clotting and anti-platelet drugs are used in this process. The inflammation and plaque size will be minimized through statins. As a matter of fact, statins are administered to reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood.
If a patient suffers with symptomatic carotid stenosis, carotid endarterectomy will be prescribed on an urgent basis. This measure is taken so that the risk of stroke can be reduced. It is possible to reduce the risk of stroke or death by 50% by implementing carotid endarterectomy. Various kinds of clinical trials are happening so that the risk of stroke can be minimized or totally prevented. Extensive trials are also conducted so that death at the time of surgery can be prevented. There is no sufficient evidence to prefer stenting instead of an operation to deal with the issue.