Twisted or tortuous artery is common occurrence in humans. The blood vessel can become twisted in several different parts of the body, including the main artery of neck. The two carotid arteries each on left and right side of neck supply blood to the brain. While mild tortuous artery may not produce any symptom, severe twisting may lead to kinking which may occlude and hamper proper blood flow causing ischemic attack in brain.
The deformity may manifest symptoms such as vertigo, syncope, dizziness, and blackouts. Severely tortuous artery can lead to transient ischemic attack and stroke.Besides aging and atherosclerosis there are several other causes which can trigger its development.
Lifestyle changes, medications and carotid artery stents or surgery are useful to offset the effects and reduce the risk of stroke.
Causes And Risk Factors For Twisted Arteries
The two main carotid arteries are important blood vessels which supply blood to brain. If any problem occurs in anyone or both the arteries, it results in decreased or complete stoppage of blood supply to the brain. There are several factors that contribute this anomaly.
In normal course the walls of artery are firm which can withstand the pressure of blood flowing through it.However, under certain circumstances they become weak and thin. Weak arteries tend to become twisted and angulated.
Partly it is contributed by reduced axial tension and weakened stiffness of arterial wall due to loss of elastin. It also occurs due to degradation of the surrounding connective tissue.
- Age: Tortuous neck arteries are common anomaly as a person ages. One or both artery may become twisted.
- Atherosclerosis: This condition can cause buildup of cholesterol, calcium and cellular waste in the arterial wall. Over a period of time, it weakens and narrows the artery wall causing damage to the carotid artery.
- High cholesterol: Raised level of cholesterol is one more cause to make the artery twisted and tortuous.
- Hypertension: High prevalence of pathological changes in artery is observed if a person has uncontrolled raised blood pressure for long duration.
- Family history: Twisted neck artery occurrence is high if a person has familial history of this condition.
- Diabetes and smoking increases risk of neck artery kinking.
Symptoms Of Twisted Artery In Neck
A mild case of anomaly in neck artery remains unnoticed for long period. However, if the angulations and twisting is more, it can cause occlusion and compromise blood flow to the brain. The symptoms than become apparent. One or both arteries of neck can be affected.
- Blurry vision
- Speaking difficulty
- Trouble in swallowing
- Apparent pulsation in neck.
- Weakness in legs and arms.
- Tingling numbness in extremities.
- Complete or partial paralysis of limbs and face.
Treatment Options For Twisted Carotid Artery
Twisting and looping of neck arteries can often cause serious health problems such as stroke, but mild looping of neck arteries may remain silent without causing any symptoms. Intense twisting can affect blood flow to the brain. If you have any of the above symptoms, seek early medical help to find the cause.
To reduce the risk of stroke caused due to winding and twisting of neck arteries, follow healthy lifestyle.
- Keep your blood pressure low by taking prescribed medicines.
- Eat healthy food consisting vegetables, cereals, and fruits. Avoid foods that increase cholesterol level in blood.
- Exercise regularly. Stay physically active and reduce your weight.
- Avoid smoking.
Carotid artery stenting is effective in reducing looping. It will help the blood to flow easily in the brain. Use of stent will help to make the artery remain straight.