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Carotid Artery Stenosis In Patients With Sickle Cell Disease

Carotid artery stenosis is a condition in sickle cell disease patients that is characterized by the narrowing of the blood vessels present in the neck that is responsible for carrying blood from the heart to the brain. The major cause of carotid artery stenosis is the buildup of cholesterol in the blood vessels called atherosclerosis. Blood clots can form in this area and travel up to the brain.

Carotid artery stenosis can lead to stroke this is because sickle cell disease patients are at a higher risk for a stroke, which leads to temporal or permanent disability or death. In some cases, strokes can either be mild and recoverable or large that is fatal and also devastating ad damaging. Carotid artery stenosis occurs after the clogging of plaque (fatty materials, cholesterol deposits, insoluble substances, inflammatory substances) in the blood vessels. 

Photo Credit: AHA Journals

There are two carotid arteries in the neck that carries a large amount of blood from the heart to the brain, and the occurrence of stenosis (narrowing of blood vessels in the body due to a buildup of plaque) in these arteries is the carotid artery stenosis. 

Photo Credit: AHA Journals

Carotid artery stenosis is also a cause of stroke in sickle cell disease patients, and it causes stroke in two ways, either by plaque clog in the carotid arteries which breaks downstream into the blood vessels leading to the brain, thereby causing the blocking of blood flow, that which causes the blockage is called an embolism. 

Photo Credit: AHA Journals

The other way carotid artery stenosis causes stroke is when the carotid artery blockage becomes too fatal and it slows down the blood flow to the brain due to the pressure. Carotid artery stenosis is a signal of a more significant and maybe a life-threatening situation that could have also been caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and an unhealthy diet. 

Photo Credit: AHA Journals

These factors are called modifiable risk factors because they are factors a patient can either partially or completely controlled. 

Content created and supplied by: Dr-Kikiope (via Opera News )

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