What is atherosclerotic disease of the carotid artery?

Updated: Oct 04, 2018
  • Author: Jake F Hemingway, MD; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Answer

Atherosclerosis is a diffuse, degenerative disease of the arteries that results in the formation of plaques composed of necrotic cells, lipids, and cholesterol crystals. These plaques can cause stenosis (see the image below), embolization, and thrombosis. Atherosclerosis has a predilection for certain arteries, including the extracranial carotid artery.

Arteriogram of carotid stenosis. Arteriogram of carotid stenosis.

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