Carotid artery stenosis health science education
Carotid artery stenosis is the most common clinical cause of carotid atherosclerosis, and its important risk factors include hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, smoking, decreased exercise, etc. When arteries harden, fatty plaques accumulate on the walls of blood vessels. These plaques occupy the lumen, narrowing the vessels. Why do we care so much about the carotid artery? Because most of the blood in our brain comes from the carotid artery. The carotid artery is like the main valve of the water pipe in our house. If the main valve is narrow, no matter how good the other vessels are, there is still not enough blood in the brain because the main valve is not fully open. Why is the carotid artery prone to plaque? Because the carotid artery bifurcates in the shape of a “Y,” as blood flows upward, the bifurcation is more prone to bumps and swirls, making plaque more likely to form there. As plaque continues to grow up, it will aggravate the blockage of blood vessels, or the blood flow of plaque after it falls off will block the blood vessels, so that the blood flow to the brain is less and less, resulting in cerebral ischemia, which will cause irreversible damage to the brain and lead to the occurrence of cerebral stroke.
How is carotid stenosis detected?
Very simple, the neck blood vessel color ultrasound to make a preliminary screening, found a problem, then MRA, CTA, DSA examination. If you are older than 40 years, accompanied by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, smoking, drinking, family history of heart cerebrovascular disease for a long time and other risk factors, must do carotid ultrasound screening as early as possible, as soon as possible understand their presence of carotid plaques, narrow, if found to have carotid plaques, narrow, should make clear the property of patches as soon as possible, Assess the severity of carotid artery stenosis and reduce the risk of stroke through treatment and lifestyle changes. At the same time, we must pay attention to regular review, usually once every six months. If the plaque becomes larger or the ultrasonic echo changes from medium-strong echo to low echo or mixed echo, high attention should be paid.
What are the symptoms of carotid stenosis?
(1) Symptoms of cerebral ischemia. There can be tinnitus, vertigo, black, blurred vision, dizziness, headache, insomnia, memory loss, drowsiness, more dreams and other symptoms. Ocular ischemia manifests as decreased vision, hemianopia, diplopia, etc.
(2) Transient ischemic attack (TIA). The local nerve function is lost temporarily, clinical manifestation is one side limb feeling or movement function is short disorder, one eye is blind or aphasia, it is short sex, reversible commonly, last only a few minutes, complete recovery after the onset. There was no focal lesion on imaging.
(3) Ischemic stroke. Usually manifested as one side of the limb sensory disorder, hemiplegia, aphasia and other brain tissue damage symptoms, even coma, life-threatening patients.
How to treat it?
If it is asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis, when the stenosis rate is less than 70%, lifestyle change and drug treatment can be given, and then timely review and close observation should be made. Surgical intervention is feasible if the stenosis is greater than 70% by color ultrasound or greater than 50% by DSA.
If symptomatic carotid artery stenosis is present, surgical intervention can be considered if cervical vascular stenosis is found to be greater than 50% by color ultrasound on the basis of conventional drugs and lifestyle changes.
How to avoid carotid stenosis?
The first step is to change your bad lifestyle. (1) Smoking cessation, smoking is one of the main risk factors of carotid atherosclerosis, can cause cerebral vasospasm, carotid artery intima damage, aggravation and promote the occurrence and development of lesions. Smoking cessation is one of the important measures to prevent and treat carotid artery stenosis. Smokers should be strictly required and urged to quit smoking and avoid passive smoking. (2) Increase physical exercise appropriately to improve obesity and body mass index. (3) Eat a balanced diet, should eat low cholesterol, low fat and high protein food, avoid eating containing caffeine, alcohol and spicy food. (4) abstaining from alcohol, because a large amount of alcohol, will cause plaque rupture and bleeding, make the degree of arterial stenosis worse. (5) Take medicine regularly according to the doctor’s advice and actively treat hypertension, hyperglycemia and hyperlipemia.