Carotid artery stenosis can be caused by cholesterol build-up in the blood vessels (atherosclerosis). Blood clots can form in this area and travel up to the brain.
This condition may be present for a long time before symptoms appear. When symptoms do occur, stroke or brief stroke-like attacks are common.
If this condition is discovered as a result of a stroke or stroke-like attack, cholesterol lowering medications and blood thinners may be used to improve blood flow to the brain. If the degree of narrowing is severe, surgery may be needed to open the blood vessel.