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What is carotid artery disease?

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Carotid artery disease is also called carotid artery stenosis. The term refers to the narrowing of the carotid arteries. This narrowing is usually caused by the buildup of fatty substances and cholesterol deposits, called plaque. Carotid artery occlusion refers to complete blockage of the artery. When the carotid arteries are obstructed, you are at an increased risk for a stroke, the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S.

SOURCES: American Heart Association: “Carotid Artery Stenosis.” National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: “Carotid Ultrasound.” JAMA: “Guarding Against Stroke – What You Should Know About Carotid Artery Disease.” National Cholesterol Education Program: “High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need to Know.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Questions and Answers about Carotid Endarterectomy.” : "Carotid Stenting Versus Endarterectomy for Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis." Stroke

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on July 25, 2017

SOURCES: American Heart Association: “Carotid Artery Stenosis.” National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: “Carotid Ultrasound.” JAMA: “Guarding Against Stroke – What You Should Know About Carotid Artery Disease.” National Cholesterol Education Program: “High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need to Know.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Questions and Answers about Carotid Endarterectomy.” : "Carotid Stenting Versus Endarterectomy for Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Stenosis." Stroke

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on July 25, 2017

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What are the carotid arteries?

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