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Carotid artery stenosis
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Carotid artery stenosis

Contributors: Ryan Hoefen MD, PhD, David Peritz MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Narrowing of the carotid artery lumen, usually due to atherosclerotic plaque formation. It is generally asymptomatic, although the risk of ischemic cerebrovascular accidents increases substantially with severe narrowing or obstruction of the arterial lumen.


I65.29 – Occlusion and stenosis of unspecified carotid artery

64586002 – Carotid artery stenosis

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Aortic stenosis
  • Atrial fibrillation with cardioembolic event
  • Seizure
  • Ischemic stroke (eg, Cerebellar stroke; see also Cerebral stroke)
  • Hemorrhagic stroke (eg, Cerebellar stroke, Cerebral stroke, Subarachnoid hemorrhage)
  • Complex Migraine headache

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Updated:03/12/2018
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Carotid artery stenosis
A medical illustration showing key findings of Carotid artery stenosis : Dysarthria, Extremities weakness, Amaurosis fugax, Carotid bruit
Imaging Studies image of Carotid artery stenosis - imageId=7878398. Click to open in gallery.  caption: '<span>Color and spectral Doppler image of the proxima right internal carotid artery demonstrating >70% stenosis.</span>'
Color and spectral Doppler image of the proxima right internal carotid artery demonstrating >70% stenosis.
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