The carotid arteries are the major source of blood flow to the brain. Atherosclerotic plaque can accumulate within these vessels, and when progressive can lead to life-altering events called cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs) including Transient Ischemic Attack (“TIA”) or a more devastating event like a stroke.
Risk assessment for CVA from carotid disease begins wit non-invasive testing. When non-invasive testing such as Carotid Doppler Ultrasound or an MRI suggests atherosclerotic plaque build up in the carotid artery, an invasive carotid angiogram may be performed.
A carotid angiogram is an invasive procedure done in the cardiac catheterization lab where catheters are carefully navigated to these arteries in the neck to obtain definitive pictures assessing the severity of these blockages.
The results of your angiogram with your SPCVA physician will be carefully discussed with you to outline further treatment options including medical management, carotid artery surgery, or carotid artery stenting. This is all part of the comprehensive and compassionate vascular care delivered by the SPCVA team.