Carotid Stenosis

CAS VideoCarotid stenosis occurs when blockage (cholesterol plaque) builds up in the arteries in the neck which supply blood flow to the brain.

Carotid stenosis can cause a bruit, a turbulent sound in the arteries in the neck heard by doctors with their stethoscopes. If not treated appropriately, carotid stenosis can lead to strokes.

SymptomsBlood Lipids

  • Carotid stenosis is most commonly asymptomatic.
  • This condition can cause “mini-strokes” (TIA’s) which are transient stroke symptoms that resolve on their own within a short period of time.
  • If it causes a stroke, symptoms are commonly weakness on one side of the body, speech problems or vision changes.

Diagnostic Tests


  • Blood pressure medications (example - metoprolol, lisinopril)
  • Cholesterol medications (example - statins [atorvastatin])
  • Aspirin and/or clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Stents (occasional)
  • Surgery to remove the blockage in the artery (endarterectomy) (occasional)
  • Cardiac Catheterization Animation

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