Carotid artery is one of the most important arteries in the our body. It has the role to carry the blood rich in oxygen to the brain. When this artery is affected by certain disorders, it can have very serious consequences because the brain deprived of oxygen can be seriously damaged. One of the disorders that can affect the carotid artery is its blockage.
Carotid artery blockage
In the human body there are two carotid arteries and they are located on the both sides of the neck. When the blood circulation through these arteries is somehow impaired, the brain does not receive enough amounts of the blood and oxygen. When it occurs, the person can experience hallucinations, or even stroke and death. Carotid artery blockage is caused by the formation of the plaque on the walls of the artery. The plaque is formed due to the accumulation of fatty materials and cholesterol. Because of that, the arteries become narrowed or completely blocked over time.
The most common symptoms of carotid artery blockage are headaches, vision problems and difficulty while speaking. Gradually, the symptoms become worse and loss of motor coordination and passing numbness in various parts of the body occur.
Carotid artery blockage test
It is important to visit a doctor when the above-mentioned symptoms are noticed. After that, the patient will undergo many carotid artery blockage tests in order to establish the degree of the blockage and the rate of blood circulation. The most common carotid artery blockage tests are magnetic resonance imaging, angiography, computer tomography, computed tomography angiography and carotid duplex ultrasound.When magnetic resonance imaging – MRI is used, the image of the carotid artery clearly shows the blockage by the means of radio waves and magnetic fields.Another test is cerebral angiogram where the blockage is determined by means of X-rays and a dye, which is injected in the carotid artery before the X-rays.Computer tomography – CT is a carotid artery test in which 2D and 3D scans of the brain clearly show the rate of the blood circulation and the blockages in the arteries.Sometimes it happens that both angiography and computer tomography are needed. In such cases, this procedure is called computed tomography angiography – CTA.In carotid duplex ultrasound, a specialized probe is used to produce the image of the carotid arteries by sending the sound waves through the arteries. Of all these above-mentioned tests, it is considered that the best test for the carotid artery blockade is computer tomography.