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Re: Carotid Artery
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Re: Carotid Artery

Posted By Annemarie   on December 12, 1998 at 16:31:28:

In Reply to: Re: Carotid Artery posted by CCF Neurology W6 MD on December 10, 1998 at 20:24:49:






As I sit here typing, I am plagued by a noise/sensation in my right carotid artery.  I hear this pulsating, squishy noise whenever I sit quietly or lay sleeping (it is hard to get to sleep at night because I can hear/feel it).
I'm 5ft 31/2in and weigh 200lbs...yes, I'm overweight and have fibromyalgia.  I am also on HRT (the real stuff not generic; I'm 54.
I am also a caregiver for my husband who has diabetes, Parkinson's Disease and has recently lost his sight; however, I am not under the stress now that I was when working as an educational administrator responsible for budgets.  
What can this noise/feeling be?  does it mean I have blockage and as an otherwise healthy person who enjoys gardening, reading what should I do?
Thanks for your answer....I know I should go to a doctor; however, I spend countless hours in various VA hospitals in NC and travel time, for my husband and try to avoid other than annual visits.
Annemarie
    =
Dear Annemarie,
thank you for your question.
It will be hard to diagnose you on this forum, but what you describe sounds like carotid bruit. Although the sound may actually come from other vessel in the region such as the jugular vein. There are many causes, both benign and not so benign. Narrowing of the carotid artery by cholesterol plaque or other plaques, can certainly cause bruit (swishing sound that correleates with pulse), although bruit may be heard even in normal vessel.
In the case of narrowed vessel, it is caused by increased velocity of blood as it passes through the narrowed segment of the artery.
It can be diagnosed easily by carotid ultrasound. A plastic probe is put in the carotid region and the wave form is recorded, they then can calculate the velocity and determine how much narrowing if any is present.
The biggest risk of carotid stenosis is stroke. Your doctor may want to refer you to a neurologist if you have this condition. The biggest risk factor is the presence of mini strokes (also called TIA's) which increase the risk for stroke tremendously. The symptoms range from numbness in one side of the body or weakness including the face, on the opposite side of the narrowed vessel. Also temporary (seconds in duration) blindness (also called amaurosis fugax) is a risk factor, which is caused by a clot from the narrowed carotid vessel to the eye vessel on the same side.
I hope it is not too confusing, and good luck to you. If you have further question please post a follow up. And if you live near Cleveland we have a world class Stroke center here and can evaluate your risk and put you on a proper preventive therapy. 1-800-CCF-CARE.

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