Carotid FMD Affects Blood Flow To The Brain

Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is an arterial disease that affects the medium and large arteries. Abnormal cellular growth in the walls of the artery may cause the artery to narrow, thereby blocking the blood flow through it. Going by the statistics, the two most common areas affected by FMD are the renal arteries and the carotid arteries. The renal arteries carry blood to the kidneys whereas the carotid arteries carry blood to the brain.

Going by the statistics, carotid artery is the second most common artery that is affected by the disease. Most of the patients with FMD have disease in the renal arteries.

The Four Types Of Fibromuscular Dysplasia Are:

  • Medial fibroplasia
  • Intimal fibroplasia
  • Perimedial fibroplasias
  • Medial hyperplasia
  • Periarterial hyperplasia
Patients with carotid FMD also may have renal artery FMD. If Fibromuscular dysplasia is encountered anywhere in the circulation, the carotid arteries should be evaluated.

People with carotid FMD have a higher risk for intracranial aneurysms that is, abnormal dilations of the arteries in the brain. If the carotid arteries are affected, one may experience ringing of the ears, Vertigo, dizziness, headache, stroke, or neck pain. Surgical treatment or percutaneous transluminal balloon angioplasty is suggested for patients suffering from symptomatic carotid arterial disease. The long term result of the use of endovascular stents in the treatment of carotid FMD lesions is unknown. No stents have been approved for carotid indications by the FDA.


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