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What Is A Carotid Bruit?

Understanding Carotid Bruit: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

A term commonly used in the medical field is carotid bruit – an abnormal sound heard during a physical examination of the carotid arteries. These arteries are located on each side of the neck and help to supply blood to the brain. Your medical professional may hear a swooshing sound with their stethoscope which can indicate a clogged artery. It is important to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment options when it comes to a carotid bruit.

Causes of Carotid Bruit

This condition is often caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis. Plaque is often made up of cholesterol, fat, and calcium. It narrows the opening of your arteries and limits blood flow, which can lead to the formation of blood clots. Since the carotid arteries help supply oxygen to the brain, plaque can increase the chances of a stroke where blood flow is blocked.

Symptoms of Carotid Bruit

In many cases, people don’t even know they have a carotid bruit in the early stages especially as it does not cause any noticeable symptoms. As the condition advances, common symptoms include a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a mini stroke. Symptoms include blurred vision, memory loss, weakness on one side of your body, speech issues, confusion, and more.

Treatment Options

Vascular surgeons are specialists in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the blood vessels, including carotid artery disease. A physical exam helps to diagnose carotid artery disease. Cerebral angiographs (CTA), MR angiography (MRA), and ultrasounds are all tests that can be administered to assess the blood vessels in the neck and brain. Treatment involves clearing out the blockages as well as blood-thinning medications, lifestyle modifications, or surgical interventions. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and individual patient factors.

Contact Our Vascular Surgeons

If you are living in the Bridgeport, Shelton, Stratford, Fairfield, Trumbull, or Milford, CT areas, rely on the team at Connecticut Vascular Surgical Associates, P.C. Our experienced vascular surgeons are here to help as we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases. We provide personalized care tailored to each patient’s needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and ensure your vascular health is in good hands.