Carotid Artery Disease
Carotid arteries, located on each side of your neck, provide oxygen-rich blood to your brain. Plaque deposits made up of cholesterol, fat, and other substances can build up in your arteries causing atherosclerosis. This condition, also known as narrowing or hardening of the arteries, puts you at risk for life-threatening strokes.
Cardiologists and vascular surgeons at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute are leaders in using advanced diagnostic technology and minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat carotid artery disease and lower your stroke risk.
Carotid artery disease care at AHN: Why choose us?
Our team is known for providing exceptional heart disease care. Here, you benefit from:
- Minimally invasive procedures: We specialize in minimally invasive heart surgery techniques, including a catheter-based angioplasty and stenting procedure to open arteries. For you, this surgical approach means less pain, a faster return to daily activities, and reduced blood loss.
- Personalized treatment: Our team taps the expertise of physicians from different fields. We develop a treatment plan specific to your health condition and needs.
AHN participates in clinical trials for carotid artery stenting and new therapies at the Cardiovascular Research Institute.
- Depth of expertise: At AHN, you receive top-notch medical care from a team of heart specialists with deep expertise in their fields. Our physicians work collaboratively to provide a prompt diagnosis and an effective treatment plan.
- Lifelong care: Carotid artery disease is a chronic, lifelong condition. The nutrition and exercise specialists at our cardiovascular rehabilitation program can help you make lifestyle changes to improve your heart health.
- Leading cardiac services: AHN is the highest-rated health system in western Pennsylvania for patient safety in overall medical care, overall surgical care, heart attack treatment, heart failure treatment, and pulmonary care, according to the 2018 CareChex® quality rating system.* Learn more about the Cardiovascular Institute.
Diagnosing carotid artery disease at AHN
Our physicians use the most advanced imaging methods to get exceptional views of your heart. These diagnostic tools help determine the cause and severity of your condition. Your physician may order one or more of these tests:
- Carotid artery Doppler and ultrasound (duplex) scan: This noninvasive test uses sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of your carotid arteries and detect plaque.
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This scan uses radio waves and magnets to create detailed images and videos of your heart’s chambers, valves, and blood vessels in motion. Learn more about cardiovascular imaging.
- Carotid angiogram: Your physician injects a contrast dye into a vein in your arm or leg, and takes X-ray images as the dye moves through the carotid arteries.
- Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan: A series of X-rays taken from different angles provides detailed images of your heart.
- Computed tomography angiogram (CTA): Your physician injects a contrast dye into a vein in your arm or leg, and uses a CT scan to monitor blood flow.
- Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA): Your physician injects a contrast dye into a vein in your leg and uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to check blood flow as the dye moves through your arteries and vessels.
Treating carotid artery disease at AHN
Treatment for carotid artery disease depends on your specific health situation. Our team works with you to develop the most effective treatment plan. Learn more about carotid artery procedures.
*Number one in market claims are based on CareChex® 2018 Composite Quality Scores and Ratings™ for acute care hospitals serving the combined statistical area (CSA) of Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton. Source: 2018 CareChex, an information service of Quantros, Inc. January 2014 – June 2016