Q:

What can be heard in the neck when the carotid arteries fill with plaque?

A:

Quick Answer

When a carotid artery contains enough plaque to cause narrowing, a doctor using a stethoscope sometimes hears a sound like water rushing through a stream, according to Harvard Medical School; however, that noise does not always indicate an arterial blockage. Also, in certain cases, congested arteries are silent.

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Full Answer

Carotid arteries are located in the neck and carry blood to the brain, Harvard Medical School explains. As the carotid artery narrows because of a buildup of cholesterol, carotid artery disease develops. This limits the blood supply to the brain. In addition, if the plaque breaks, a blood clot forms to repair the gap. It is possible for an individual to have a stroke if that clot makes its way to the brain.

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