Carotid artery disease treated with Interventional Radiology

Team of Dr. Charalambous - Nicosia, Cyprus

Carotid artery disease

As we have discussed in the previous article, the largest artery in your body is called Aorta. Aorta guides blood flow from the heart to the abdomen. If you want to feel the Aorta, press gently on any side of your windpipe, and you will be able to sense pulsations coming from the carotid arteries.
Like all the other arteries in your body, this artery can also become diseased and develop an obstruction inside. The blockage can stop the blood flow partly or completely to other parts of the body.
Atheroma is the material that is deposited in the arteries and leads to obstruction. Atheroma is a Greek word used for porridge. Mostly, it is a fatty deposit when it appears in medical cases. It forms a plaque or a mound in the afflicted vessels. Atheroma can cause the narrowing of the carotid artery, which is a severe condition called stenosis.

If the plaque keeps growing in size and volume, the arteries become more stiffened and narrowed. The stiffening and narrowing of arteries due to atheroma deposits is called atherosclerosis. Risk factors of atherosclerosis include aging. 1% of adults between the age of 50-59 are suffering from carotid artery disease mainly related to the narrowing of carotid arteries. However, 10% of the adults who are between the age of 80-89 get this problem worldwide.

There are many symptoms of this problem. Small parts of fatty deposits can travel through arteries to the brain and can cause a mini-stroke or even a full-blown stroke. Another problem is that we cannot predict where the small particles of fatty deposits can go.
If the particles approach the brain, you might even sustain weakness, loss of speech, or even numbness of an arm. Brain-related conditions can also cause immobility of the leg and arm of one side of your body.
The human brain is cross-wired. If the particle goes and settles into the right side of the brain, you will feel numbness and immobility on the left side of your body. For example, if you are right-handed and particle settles on the left side of your brain where your speech center is located, you will experience speech problems.
You can also have visual problems. It can be caused by the particles which have traveled to the artery, which supplied blood to the eye.
The patient can also experience other symptoms like:
Inability to speak clearly
Loss of vision in one eye, as if a shutter or a curtain is covering the affected eye.
Inability to control the movements of leg and arm
Numbness, tingling sensation on one side of your body and weakness
There are also temporary,m mild symptoms when the fragments lodge in the brain for a short time duration.
If the symptoms which you are feeling fade away in 24 hours, it means that you had a mini-stroke.
It would be best if you never ignored these symptoms as the mini-stroke is an indication that there will be more mini-strokes or even a full-blown stroke to come.
The treatment begins with the doctor generally asking about your health and your medical history, which may include questions about the risk factors, such as whether you smoke or not or the timing and frequency of your symptoms. Your blood pressure will be measured and there can also be a physical examination. You may also get a chest X-ray and ECG.
The first thing in the treatment will be restricting you from any risk factor like smoking.
The second thing in the treatment plan will be a mixture of medicines which will be best-suited to stop you from building any form of plaque in the artery. Some drug combinations are prescribed to try and stabilize the plaque, which has already built up in the affected vessel. The latter technique is the best medical therapy used to treat Carotid Artery Disease. There will also be other medications like statins, ACE inhibitors, and aspirin.
The doctor may also decide to try an alternative like surgery, which will be an open operation called Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA). For the treatment of carotid artery disease, interventional radiology is also used, and the process used is called carotid artery stenting. In this process, a stent is placed in the vessel tube to keep it open and to prevent the plaque from blocking it.
Dr Nikolas Charalambous is named among the most prominent interventional radiologist. Get a free consultation for a minimally invasive treatment of brain, neck, and spine.
Aretaeio Hospital

Andrea Avraamidi 55-57, Strovolos 2024, Nicosia,


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Phone: +357  99 44 08 22