Vascular Disease: Neck and Leg

Blocked arteries in the neck, the carotid arteries, can lead to stroke when sufficiently narrowed. Stethoscope examination of the neck can detect sounds called bruits which often indicate carotid artery blockage. The severity can be estimated by carotid ultrasound and doppler evaluation and appropriate treatment can be instituted.

Claudication is the name of the leg pain usually first noticed with blocked leg arteries. It typically occurs with walking a specific distance and is relieved by rest. Palpation of the leg pulses and doppler evaluation of the legs can help guide treatment.

Carotid artery disease and vascular disease of the extremities is strongly correlated with coronary artery disease. If you have vascular disease, you should discuss appropriate screening tests for heart disease with your physician.