Carotid stenosis refers to the blockage and narrowing of the carotid artery in the neck. The Carotid artery supplies blood to the brain. This blockage is caused by fatty build up called plaque and is also referred to as atherosclerosis. This fatty material accumulates in the inner lining of blood vessels and results in narrowing, stenosis and irregularity of the artery. This may result in the formation of blood clots which dislodge and flow up to the brain.
A stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted resulting in a loss of nutrients and oxygen. If the blood flow is not restored the brain cells die and there will be permanent brain damage. Stroke is a major cause of disability and death. Carotid stenosis is one of the many causes of stroke. Carotid artery disease is a condition in which the carotid arteries become narrowed or blocked. When the arteries become narrowed, the condition is called carotid stenosis.