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Stroke secondary to carotid stenosis

  • Definition

    Stroke secondary to carotid stenosis is a group of brain disorders involving loss of brain function.


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Stroke secondary to carotid stenosis occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked. This is usually related to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), particularly those arteries in the neck. Carotid stenosis means hardening of the neck arteries.

    Atherosclerosis occurs when a sticky substance called plaque builds up in the inner lining of the arteries. The plaque may block or narrow an artery. A blood clot may occur at the site of the plaque. If a piece of plaque breaks off and travels to an artery in the brain, it can cause a blockage or even a stroke. The risks for stroke secondary to carotid stenosis are the same as atherosclerosis.

    Stroke secondary to carotid stenosis is most common in older people. Often times, patients with stroke secondary to carotid stenosis have atherosclerotic heart disease or diabetes.

    Radiation therapy to the area may also cause carotid stenosis.