Stenosis in the brain is a narrowing of the head and neck arteries. It is often caused by atherosclerosis — a buildup of deposits (plaque) that accumulates in the blood vessels.
Types of Brain Stenosis — Carotid, Vertebral and Intracranial
Blood clots can form, dislodge and flow into the brain causing constricted arteries and leading to stroke and transient ischemic attacks (TIA) can occur. Patients may experience symptoms such as vision loss, dizziness, speech difficulty, or numbness or weakness of an arm or leg. Treatments include a combination of medicines to help stop plaque formation, lifestyle modifications, open surgery or minimally invasive endovascular treatment.
- Carotid artery stenosis occurs in the arteries in the neck that supply oxygenated blood to the brain.
- Vertebral artery stenosis happens in the arteries in the head and neck that supply oxygenated blood to the back of the brain.
- Intracranial artery stenosis occurs in the arteries in the head that supply oxygenated blood throughout the brain. This condition is also referred to as intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD).
Intracranial Venous Sinus Stenosis
Intracranial venous sinus stenosis is a rare condition caused by narrowing of the veins inside the head that carry oxygen-poor blood away from the brain and back to the heart. In some patients who have chronically elevated intracranial pressures, vein obstructions may also be found. This finding may be associated with a condition known as pseudotumor cerebri or idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Treatments may involve lifestyle modifications, medicines, open surgery or minimally invasive endovascular treatment including stenting.