ANCHOR LEAD: BLOOD VESSEL DISEASE IN THE NECK SHOULD BE SCREENED FOR, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The carotid arteries run up the neck and supply the brain with blood. When atherosclerosis forms in them it can result in a stroke or sudden death, so the Vascular Surgery Society now recommends screening the carotids. Julie Freischlag, chief of surgery at Johns Hopkins, explains.
FREISCHLAG: Carotid disease is plaque in the neck that can throw little pieces into your head to cause stroke. Carotid disease causes about a fourth to a third of all strokes. We can do an ultrasound of the neck to see if there’s narrowing of those arteries. If you’re sixty years old and you have that screening and you’re normal, the likelihood of that happening in the next 20 years is almost zero. We can actually quantitate how narrow those arteries are and the more narrow they are, the more likely a piece of debris will fly off, going into the head and causing a stroke. :30
If blockages are found they can be treated surgically. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.