Carotid artery stenosis is a condition in which the carotid artery (the main blood vessel leading to the brain) becomes narrowed or blocked. This can reduce or block blood flow to the brain and increases the risk of stroke. Carotid artery stenosis is most often caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Other causes include injury to the carotid artery, inflammation, and tumors. Symptoms of carotid artery stenosis include transient ischemic attacks (TIA or “mini-strokes”) and stroke. TIA symptoms typically last a few minutes and resolve on their own, while stroke symptoms may last for days or weeks and may lead to permanent disability.
Carotid artery stenosis is diagnosed with tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. Treatment options include medicines, lifestyle changes, surgical procedures such as carotid endarterectomy or angioplasty/stenting, and interventional procedures such as angiography. The Gulf Coast Brain and Spine Center is a comprehensive center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Our team of experts provides individualized care based on each patient’s unique needs.
At Gulf Coast Brain and Spine Center, patients may experience symptoms such as dizziness or lightheadedness, blurred vision, weakness in the limbs or face, difficulty speaking, sudden confusion or trouble understanding speech, and numbness on one side of your body. Even without experiencing any symptoms of CAS, it is still important to have regular checkups with your doctor to monitor your risk for this condition.
When CAS is present, treatment typically involves lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking and eating a healthy balanced diet as well as medications like statins or anticoagulants. Other options may include surgery and/or stenting depending on the severity of blockage. At Gulf Coast Brain and Spine Center they offer diagnosis, treatment plans customized to each individual’s needs, and ongoing management through their specialized care team. Learn more from the Skull Base Foundation here.