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Doctor insights on: Carotid Blockage

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Does peak systolic velocity (psv) determines % of carotid blockage?

Does peak systolic velocity (psv) determines % of carotid blockage?

Yes: It correlates. As blood travels through a progressively smaller orifice, it must speed up to get through and that measurement is plugged into a formula to yield an orifice size. ...Read more

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What are the side effects of significant carotid blockage on both sides?

What are the side effects of significant carotid blockage on both sides?

Stroke: Stroke or mini-stroke (TIA) is the main risk of carotid artery blockage. In general, approximately 1/2 of strokes are due to carotid disease ...Read more

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Are there any options for treating a carotid blockage that are safer than carotid end-arterectomies?

Are there any options for treating a carotid blockage that are safer than carotid end-arterectomies?

Possibly Stenting: In experienced hands, the surgery should have no more than a 3 to 5 % complication rate. Stenting has been approved for high risk patients, but a recent study has shown that there is not much difference in the risks between the two procedures. ...Read more

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I have a carotid artery blockage. If I watch my diet from now on, will the blockage go away?

I have a carotid artery blockage. If I watch my diet from now on, will the blockage go away?

Unlikely: Diet alone will most likely not make the blockage go away. Medical management with Aspirin or Plavix (clopidogrel) (anti-platelet agents) and cholesterol lowering meds (statins) will give you the best results. ...Read more

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How reliable is ultra sound for detecting carotid artery blockage?

How reliable is ultra sound for detecting carotid artery blockage?

Excellent: Ultrasound duplex imaging of the cervical carotid arteries is very good at determining significant arterial narrowing. Changes in the flow patterns of the carotid arteries can also suggest disease in the internal carotid arteries further on in at the skull base even though the arteries themselves cannot be seen at that level. ...Read more

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Grandma has heart disease and mini strokes and a carotid artery blockage. Will she live long?

Grandma has heart disease and mini strokes and a carotid artery blockage. Will she live long?

Life expectancy: Life expectancy is multifactorial and thus with the little information provided, it's impossible to really discuss survival. But if your grandmother has carotid artery blockages and is having mini-strokes, she may be at high risk for an actual stroke if the blockages are not addressed. Please see a board-certified vascular surgeon. ...Read more

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If grandma has heart disease and has mini strokes, must we rule out a carotid artery blockage?

If grandma has heart disease and has mini strokes, must we rule out a carotid artery blockage?

Yes: The common causes of stroke are narrowings in the carotid arteries, tiny clots arising from the heart or fragments of plaque from the aorta. Carotid artery blockages can often be treated with stents or with surgery, reducing the risk of major stroke in the ruture. ...Read more

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Carotid doppler showed 50% bilateral blockage, mr angiogram was negative. Which is more accurate?

Carotid doppler showed 50% bilateral blockage, mr angiogram was negative. Which is more accurate?

Debatable: Few vascular surgeons make decisions on carotid artery stenosis based on mr, as carotid doppler (ultrasound) has been proven to be very reliable when a good technologist performs the study. From what you're describing, your carotid arteries are likely without disease as the reporting standards for ultrasound haven't quite been set. In my lab you'd likely be found to have no disease at all. ...Read more

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Carotid doppler test found a calcified plaque of 3.5mm x 2.5mm in left bulb.All else normal. I am 46yrs male.Very worried.How big is this blockage?

Carotid doppler test found a calcified plaque of 3.5mm x 2.5mm in left bulb.All else normal. I am 46yrs male.Very worried.How big is this blockage?

Incomplete data: It is not necessarily the size of plaque, but the degree of obstruction it represents, the composition of the plaque (not just calcification) & even more important, the stability of the plaque surface itself. All of these are amenable to lifestyle & pharmacologic intervention, so risk factor assessment & management are critical to the assessment & management of your plaque. Talk to your doctor! ...Read more

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What does intimal thickening of the carotid artery mean when thrre is no blockage?

What does intimal thickening of the carotid artery mean when thrre is no blockage?

Somewhat unclear: Blockages in the carotid artery of a certain severity may increase one's risk of stroke. For those carotid arteries without a blockage, some physicians measure the intima (the inner-most lining of the artery) and derive a value called the imt, or intimal-medial thickness. It's supposed to help us determine severity of atherosclerosis, but this is somewhat controversial. ...Read more