Features May 2010 Issue

Best Carotid Artery Treatment Approach May Depend on Age

The stroke-prevention methods include stents and surgery.

Blockage of the carotid artery, one of the blood vessels in the neck that carry blood to the brain, can lead to an ischemic stroke if the blood supply is cut off, even temporarily. But advances in diagnostics and treatment of carotid artery stenosis (a narrowing of the carotid arteries) can often allow physicians to keep oxygen-rich blood flowing to the brain with increasingly lower risks to the patients. The narrowing is usually the result of a build-up of plaque—fat, cholesterol and other substances that can line the inside of the artery.

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