Brachiocephalic arteries BCA role anatomy pathology and diagnostic methods e

Atherosclerosis is considered one of the most common pathological processes that occur in arteries that supply blood to the brain and limbs. Vasoconstriction inevitably affects the functioning of the brain, which lacks arterial blood supply and hypoxia.

Atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries develops for the same reasons as a similar lesion of the aorta, arteries of the heart, kidneys, limbs. Mature and old age, overweight, lack of motor activity, malnutrition, bad habits, impaired fat metabolism predispose to it.

The prerequisites for the appearance of plaque are damage to the inner layer of the arterial walls, which arise as a result of active blood flow, large intravascular pressure, and turbulent blood flow at the sites of branching of blood vessels. A growing plaque can go unnoticed for a long time, because the lumen of the arteries is quite wide, but the progression of atherosclerosis sooner or later leads to impaired blood supply to the brain.

Non-stenotic atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries is indicated when the plaque grows predominantly along the artery length, without causing its significant narrowing. It is clear that blood flow will still be impaired, but complete blockage usually does not occur. As such a flat plaque increases, the circulatory system of the brain is reconstructed to new conditions – collaterals are turned on, blood is redirected to the components of the Willis circle, and the brain receives the amount of nutrition that it needs.

Atherosclerosis is also considered non-stenotic, when the plaque does not overlap half the lumen of the artery. With the progression of the disease, a non-stenotic lesion can become stenotic – a growing plaque will close half and even more than the diameter of the vessel.

The situation of stenosing atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries is much more serious. At the same time, an atherosclerotic plaque protrudes into the lumen of the vessel and leads to severe stenosis, and its rupture or damage to the external cover threatens with local thrombosis and complete obstruction of the artery.

stages of development of complete artery stenosis

Against the background of BCA stenotic atherosclerosis, blood flow is also rearranged, and its functionality depends on the structure of the Willis circle. Given that the classical branching of the arteries of the base of the brain is much less common for all kinds of variations, most patients with atherosclerosis lack collateral circulation, and therefore the risk of adverse effects (stroke, for example) increases significantly.

Favorite areas for the formation of atherosclerotic plaques are those areas of blood vessels where they divide or the course changes, which leads to vortex blood flow and damage to the intima, and the most common localization of BCA atherosclerosis is the zone of division of the common carotid artery into the external and internal branches.

Due to damage to the brachiocephalic arteries, blood flow in the brain suffers, the latter experiences ischemia (discirculatory encephalopathy) or necrosis (stroke) occurs. The mechanism of development of these complications is associated with hemodynamic causes when partial or complete occlusion of the artery occurs, as well as with embolism, when particles of carotid artery plaque, microthrombi from areas of atherosclerotic lesion become emboli.

The risk of a stroke against the background of BCA atherosclerosis increases significantly with thrombosis, the presence of a loose plaque with hemorrhage in its thickness or ulceration of the surface, as well as with severe arterial stenosis (70-80% or more).

In addition to atherosclerosis, other pathological processes are possible in the system of brachiocephalic arteries, entailing their narrowing and impaired blood flow. So, to frequent changes in blood vessels include excesses, loop formation, which are usually eliminated by surgery. Aneurysms of these arteries are also found, but relatively rarely.

Atherosclerosis is considered one of the most common pathological processes that occur in arteries that supply blood to the brain and limbs. Vasoconstriction inevitably affects the functioning of the brain, which lacks arterial blood supply and hypoxia.

With the ineffectiveness of drug treatment, surgery is possible. In the case of a local change in the vessel wall, the surgeon can remove this section of the artery, an atherosclerotic plaque by itself or with a fragment of the vascular wall, perform plastic surgery, and install a stent.

Indications for ultrasound of the brachiocephalic arteries are:

  • over 40 years old for men and 45 years for women;
  • hypertension, diabetes mellitus, stroke, myocardial infarction in blood relatives;
  • pain in the head;
  • dizziness;
  • noise in ears;
  • periodic visual impairment, movements;
  • sudden speech impairment, sensitivity;
  • impaired memory, concentration of attention;
  • increase or decrease in blood pressure;
  • diabetes;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • metabolic syndrome;
  • smoking for more than 15 years;
  • a stroke or transient ischemic attack;
  • myocardial infarction;
  • operations on the vessels of the head and neck;
  • periodic loss of consciousness;
  • diseases of the vascular wall.

Duplex scanning, ultrasound of the brachiocephalic arteries and other examination methods

The main methods for diagnosing vascular lesions are:

  • Ultrasound examination (color duplex scanning);
  • MR angiography;
  • MSCT with contrast;
  • X-ray contrast angiography.

One of the most affordable studies can be considered ultrasound scan – ultrasound dopplerography, which does not require large material costs, is safe and, at the same time, quite informative. Using ultrasound, a specialist can determine not only the anatomy, structural changes in the walls of the brachiocephalic arteries, but also determine the parameters of blood flow using duplex color mapping.

An ultrasound examination of the vessels of the neck is indicated for patients who have certain symptoms of difficulty in the blood supply to the brain:

  1. Headache, dizziness;
  2. Sensation of noise in the ears or head;
  3. Visual or hearing impairment;
  4. Decreased memory, attention, intellectual performance;
  5. Insomnia;
  6. Symptoms of speech impairment;
  7. Numbness of the limbs, weakness in them;
  8. Ripple of the cervical arteries.

It is also advisable for patients at risk for vascular brain damage to perform an ultrasound scan for the early diagnosis of changes and the prevention of severe complications (). The risk group includes persons:

  • With diagnosed atherosclerosis of a different location (vessels of the legs, aorta, coronary arteries, etc.);
  • Suffering from diabetes and other metabolic disorders;
  • People over 40;
  • Patients with cervical;
  • Patients who have had a stroke or myocardial infarction.

Ultrasound of the vessels of the head and neck does not require any specific preparation, but nevertheless, the specialist will recommend on the day of the study to refuse strong tea, coffee and, of course, alcohol. At least two hours before the procedure, you must not smoke – this can cause and lead to an incorrect conclusion about the condition of the arteries.

With ultrasound of the brachiocephalic arteries, the subject lies on his back, the neck is freed from clothes and jewelry, the head is turned in the direction opposite to the vessels being examined. The sensor is treated with a special gel and moves along the front surface of the neck from the edge of the lower jaw to the clavicles. The study lasts about 15-20 minutes.

Using the standard ultrasound regimen, the doctor assesses the width of the lumen of the vessels, the presence of stenosis in them, the nature of branching. Complementing the method with color Doppler mapping gives information about the features and direction of blood flow.

If you suspect a pathology of the brachiocephalic arteries and their branches, it is advisable to start the diagnosis with a study of the peripheral sections – the common carotid arteries, their bifurcation zones, since it is at this place that the atherosclerotic plaques that cause chronic cerebral ischemia are most often located. If nothing was found in the underlying sections during ultrasound with dopplerography, and there are symptoms of impaired cerebral blood flow, then transcranial ultrasound can be performed to determine the state of blood vessels in the cranial cavity.

The technique of ultrasound examination of the BCC is called duplex scanning. This study, in fact, includes two methods: simple gray-scale ultrasound and Doppler studies.

It is such a study that is currently used, as it is much more informative than a simple ultrasound scan.

Sometimes on high-end devices, in fact, the same study can be called triplex scanning, since three modes can simultaneously work on them – seroscale ultrasound, color Doppler and spectral Doppler modes.

Brachiocephalic arteries (BCA) are large vascular trunks that provide blood to one of the most important human organs – the brain. Since the bulk of the blood flows to the brain and head tissues precisely through these vessels, their damage causes not only unpleasant symptoms, but is very dangerous due to serious complications.

Atherosclerosis, so common among modern people, is considered the main pathological process unfolding on the walls of the brachiocephalic arteries. Arterial narrowing with plaque inevitably leads to obstruction of blood flow, and in this case the brain will suffer.

A variety of diagnostic methods are used to study the brachiocephalic arteries, and the presence of pathology can be determined not only through expensive procedures, but also by conventional ultrasound – in a cheap, affordable and safe way.

Atherosclerosis of the neck vessels, abnormal branching of the brachiocephalic arteries can be asymptomatic for a long time, therefore, examinations are not carried out or changes are detected as an accidental finding in connection with the search for another pathology. Patients who have complaints related to difficulty in blood flow in the brain are usually prescribed a BCA test, the defeat of which can cause ischemic changes in the nervous tissue.

Doppler ultrasound of the brachiocephalic arteries and blood vessels, or ultrasound doppler ultrasound, BCA and BCS – what is it? This is an ultrasound diagnostic method that allows you to evaluate the condition of the neck vessels and the nature of the blood flow in them.

With its help, it is possible to evaluate the existing violations of the blood supply to the brain and determine the likelihood of such disorders in the future.

Ultrasound dopplerography is still used today, but it can be called obsolete in comparison with other research methods – duplex and triplex scanning of brachiocephalic arteries.

Conclusion

In case of damage to the branchiocephalic arteries, mandatory treatment is required. BCA pathologies can lead to serious consequences, disability and death, as these vessels supply blood to the brain. Their insidiousness lies in the fact that in the early stages of development there is no pronounced symptomatology.

In case of damage to the branchiocephalic arteries, mandatory treatment is required. BCA pathologies can lead to serious consequences, disability and death, as these vessels supply blood to the brain. Their insidiousness lies in the fact that in the early stages of development there is no pronounced symptomatology.

How is the blood supply to the brain?

Brachiocephalic vessels (or BCC) are called veins and arteries, which are responsible for blood circulation in the hands and head. Their name comes from two ancient Greek words “brachion”, which translates as “shoulder”, and “kephale”, which means “head”.

The brachiocephalic arteries (or BCA) are separated from the aorta in order to later divide into smaller vessels. Some supply blood to the hands, up to the tips of the fingers, while others feed the brain.

The carotid arteries are mainly responsible for the blood supply to the head and neck. On the neck they are in front. Near the thyroid carotid arteries are divided into internal and external. At first, two common carotid arteries are separated only by the trachea, and above – between them and in front of them are the larynx, pharynx and thyroid gland. The internal carotid arteries deliver blood directly to the brain. The external carotid arteries supply blood to everything that is on the head, but outside the cranial cavity.

Brachiocephalic vessels are veins and arteries responsible for the blood supply to the head and hands up to the tips of the fingers

The brain is served not only by the carotid arteries. There are many others, such as vertebral arteries. They are inside the links of the upper part of the spinal trunk, rising, they nourish different parts of the brain. The outflow of blood back produces jugular veins. They, like arteries, are examined during an ultrasound scan. Through the veins, blood flows from the brain in the direction of the heart.

UZDG BCA – a type of study performed using ultrasound diagnostics. It allows to identify pathological changes and patency of the vessels and veins responsible for blood supply to the brain. The procedure does not have significant differences from conventional ultrasound, but involves some preparatory measures.

The examination takes about 30 minutes, the results are ready in a few minutes. In this article we will tell you what ultrasound is used and how it is performed.

This procedure is a dopplerography of brachiocephalic vessels, that is, an ultrasound examination that evaluates the features of blood circulation. Based on the result, the specialist will determine the patency of the vessels, the causes of the development of the anomaly and the methods of its treatment.

In addition, the ultrasound scan of the brachiocephalic arteries makes it possible to study the anatomical structure of the vessels, and when studying the collectors of the veins – the state of their valves, the elasticity of the wall, and possible impaired blood flow.

Brachiocephalic arteries are large vessels responsible for the function of blood supply to the brain, tissues of the head and hands. They may also be called trunk.

BCA atherosclerosis, what is it? Treatment of stenosing and non-stenosing forms

Atherosclerosis is a systemic disease that can attack almost any group of vessels.

If the clinical picture is accompanied by symptoms of brain disorders, we can talk about one of the varieties of pathology – atherosclerosis of brachiocephalic vessels.

This form is characterized by some difficulties in therapy and a high risk of stroke and changes in the functions of the central nervous system, which cannot be eliminated by methods available to modern medicine.

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What it is?

The first thing to mention when describing BCA atherosclerosis is that it is a disease in which the vessels of the brachiocephalic trunk are affected.

These include the vertebral and carotid arteries and their branches, as well as the subclavian artery.

This form of atherosclerotic lesion is considered the most common, since many branches are located on this part of the circulatory system. They most often form atherosclerotic deposits, known as plaques.

  • Non-stenotic atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries is a variety that involves the least pronounced changes. This pathology is accompanied by the formation of longitudinal lipid deposits without sharp narrowing of the lumen of the vessels. With her, despite this, the throughput of the arteries decreases markedly.
  • BCA stenosing atherosclerosis is a more complex variety in which deposits in the vessels are transverse and have a more pronounced thickness. Under plaques of this type, degenerative and destructive processes often occur, as a result of which the walls of the vessels harden and narrow. The blood flow with this form of the disease is severely limited. Often there is a complete blockage of blood vessels.

    In addition, specialists classify the disease depending on which vessels have undergone the most pronounced changes.

    The appearance of the main initial signs of atherosclerosis of the vessels of the brachiocephalic trunk in most cases is delayed, that is, the patient may suspect the presence of the disease after a long time from the beginning of the pathological process.

    This is due to the fact that an increase in plaques and, accordingly, a decrease in the diameter of the arteries occurs slowly.

    On average, at least 5 years elapse from the onset of the disease to its manifestation (a serious complication and the appearance of systematic symptoms).

    At the stage of development, BCA atherosclerosis is accompanied by ambiguous symptoms:

    • mild dizziness, which increases with the application of psychoemotional and physical efforts;
    • deterioration of brain functions – an inability to concentrate appears, a decrease in overall mental performance;
    • pulsation of the temporal vessels, which can be detected independently by putting your fingers to the temporal cavity – the symptom appears and intensifies with physical and emotional stress;
    • tinnitus, resembling the sound of passing cars, is a symptom characteristic of atherosclerosis of the extracranial sections of the BCA.

    As non-stenotic atherosclerosis of the intracranial brachiocephalic arteries progresses, patients complain of a complex deterioration in well-being. In addition to the symptoms described above, there is a decrease in vision, hearing, a significant deterioration in memory up to failure. This clinical picture is a consequence of total vascular insufficiency of the central nervous system.

    The manifestations of advanced atherosclerosis of the extracranial divisions of the brachiocephalic arteries with stenosis look somewhat different.

    This type of disease is accompanied by numbness of the right upper limb, which can weaken and intensify depending on the degree of load on the body.

    In addition, patients complain of intense headaches, attacks of which happen suddenly and reach a peak in a few minutes.

    If symptoms and treatment are ignored at a later date, BCA atherosclerosis can result in a stroke, which in one third of cases results in death or severe disability.

    With a deep lesion of the vessels of the brachiocephalic trunk, significant changes are observed, which leave no doubt that the patient has atherosclerosis. In addition to memory loss, speech disorders and a change in the patient’s personality are observed. At this stage, it becomes impossible to return a person to a previous life, as changes become irreversible.

    Risk Factors

    Like other varieties of the disease, BCA atherosclerosis progresses against the background of predisposing factors, which doctors include:

    • smoking – this bad habit leads to damage to the vascular walls, as a result of which a “patch” of cholesterol is formed on them;
    • metabolic disorders against diabetes mellitus, liver dysfunctions – such phenomena lead to an increase in the synthesis of triglycerides in the body and their release into the blood;
    • hypertension – pressure fluctuations injure the walls of blood vessels, and the body is forced to seal the damage with cholesterol plaques;
    • non-observance of healthy eating standards and the use of a large number of harmful lipids;
    • hypodynamia.

    The stress factor also plays an important role in the development of atherosclerotic pathologies. It is proved that people exposed to psycho-emotional stress every day are much more likely to face vascular pathologies, including atherosclerosis.

    According to statistics, BCA atherosclerosis often occurs in older people. Therefore, after 55 years, it is recommended that you take an analysis for cholesterol at least once a year.

    Diagnostics

    Diagnose atherosclerosis BCA only on the basis of the existing symptoms, no doctor will risk. When contacting a specialist, many aspects are considered, and the main indications are laboratory and instrumental diagnostics. After collecting an anamnesis and clarifying complaints, the doctor directs the patient to the following examinations:

    • duplex ultrasound (scan) to determine the size and localization of plaques, the state of the vascular walls, the presence or absence of stenosis;
    • An ultrasound of the vessels of the neck determines the echographic signs of atherosclerosis, sets blood flow velocity, localization and size of plaques (the study can be used instead of duplex scanning);
    • MRI is a modern gold standard for the diagnosis of vascular pathologies, which allows you to evaluate not only the condition of the vessels of the BCA, the characteristics of neoplasms on arterial intima, but also to assess the degree of change in brain tissue.

    Additionally, a blood test for cholesterol, and electrocardiography are prescribed. Unlike other vascular pathologies, atherosclerotic changes in BCA are not diagnosed using angiography. During this procedure, there is a risk of rupture of the plaque and blockage of blood vessels, which inevitably leads to a catastrophe of the brain.

    Treatment

    For the treatment of BCA atherosclerosis, a set of measures is used to slow down or completely stop the further progression of the disease and eliminate acute cerebral vascular insufficiency. The tactics of therapy will depend on the type of disease and the degree of vascular damage.

    Medications

    Conservative therapy of atherosclerosis of the arteries of the brachiocephalic trunk is used universally for any type of disease. The main method is only when pathology is detected in the initial stages, as well as if a non-stenotic form of pathology is diagnosed.

    The groups of drugs that are prescribed for this diagnosis are diverse:

    • lipid-lowering drugs (statins, fibrates, sequestrants of bile acids), the action of which is aimed at reducing blood cholesterol and stopping the growth of plaques;
    • antiplatelet drugs, the action of which is aimed at thinning the blood, improving blood flow and normalizing the nutrition of brain tissue;
    • angioprotectors, the action of which is aimed at protecting the vascular walls from further changes;
    • Nootropics, the action of which is aimed at restoring and protecting brain tissue.
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    In addition, prescribe drugs to relieve current symptoms, mainly analgesics and calcium channel blockers (Nifedipine, Amlodipine and their analogues). In addition, vitamins are prescribed: nicotinic acid and standard vitamin-mineral complexes.

    Patients will have to take life-long medications for atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries. Even a short break can lead to a sudden progression of the disease.

    Surgery, most often minimally invasive, is used at any stage of stenosing atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries, as well as with a non-stenotic form in the advanced stage (with narrowing of the lumen of blood vessels by 50% or more).

  • Open resection. It is used for damage to the veins of blood vessels located on the neck, since open access to them is necessary for manipulations. During the operation, the doctor removes part of the vessel along with the plaque, and then sutures the ends of the artery or sets a prosthesis between them.
  • Open plaque removal. It is used in the same cases as the previous operation, with the only difference being that the plaque is excised with part of the inner lining of the vessel, and the outer walls of the artery remain intact. After that, the doctor conducts plastic surgery (restoration) of the vessel.
  • Stenting. A low-traumatic method that is used to defeat the deep arteries of the brachiocephalic trunk. The method is the installation of a mesh or other design into the lumen of the vessel, which pushes the walls and helps restore blood flow.

    The most effective and safe is the last method. He has the lowest rates of relapse and complications. Of the shortcomings, only the high cost of the operation can be distinguished.

    The main role in the treatment of atherosclerosis of BCA is played by dieting and maintaining the body in good shape.

    Patients with this diagnosis are advised to limit their intake of animal fats and consume more foods that can regulate cholesterol and blood sugar.

    What are the main indications for ultrasound of brachiocephalic vessels?

    Doppler ultrasound of brachiocephalic vessels is performed as planned in the following cases:

    • high blood pressure;
    • high blood sugar;
    • diseases associated with inflammation and destruction of the vascular walls;
    • a stroke or heart attack;
    • nicotine addiction.

    Also, diagnostics are indicated for human complaints of the following problems:

    • visual impairment: temporary or permanent;
    • violation of coordination of movement;
    • frequent pain in the head;
    • dizziness;
    • unsteady gait;
    • ripple in temples;
    • impaired memory, concentration, and attention;
    • the appearance of “flies” and glare in front of the eyes;
    • sudden loss of consciousness.

    Doppler ultrasound of the brachiocephalic arteries allows you to diagnose the following pathologies:

    • Vascular disease;
    • violation of the elasticity of the vascular wall during vegetative-vascular or neurocirculatory dystonia;
    • inflammation and destruction of the vascular walls;
    • atherosclerosis
    • vascular damage as a result of a disorder of nervous regulation (with high pressure and high blood sugar);
    • protrusion of the artery wall due to its thinning or extension;
    • the presence of fistulas between the vessels;
    • vascular injury;
    • the formation of blood clots (thrombus) in the lumen of the vessel, causing a violation of blood flow in this place;
    • varicose veins.

    The procedure is done in a horizontal position of the patient. A special roller is placed under the neck, the head turns to one side. The neck area is freed from clothing and jewelry. An ultrasound-conducting medical gel is applied to the skin and sensor. The doctor moves the sensor along the neck along the location of the vessels. Such movements are carried out in the longitudinal anterolateral and posterolateral planes and transverse.

    During the study, the patient is forbidden to turn his head, talk. First, the common carotid arteries are examined, since it is there that the accumulation of atherosclerotic plaques is most likely to occur. For indications such as genetic or anatomical abnormalities, additional functional tests may be prescribed:

    • conducting an examination in an upright position;
    • breath holding
    • the use of antianginal medicines (Anaprilin, Nitroglycerin).

    The time interval for the procedure is from half an hour to 45 minutes. The examination protocol is issued to the patient in his arms for further consultation with the doctor who sent for an ultrasound scan.

    Atherosclerotic plaques are located mainly in the carotid arteries.

    The risk group for the development of cerebrovascular accident includes people with diseases such as:

    • diabetes;
    • hypertension;
    • cervical osteochondrosis;
    • autoimmune vascular lesions (vasculitis);
    • obesity;
    • angina pectoris;
    • cardiac ischemia;
    • history of heart attack and stroke;
    • heart attacks, strokes, hypertension and atherosclerosis in the anamnesis of relatives;
    • age over 40 years.

    In the presence of these diseases, a periodic (once a year or once every two years) planned passage of ultrasound of the vessels of the neck is indicated. It is also recommended to regularly undergo this examination for people with smoking experience of 15 years or more.

    Direct indications for the passage of ultrasound of the brachiocephalic trunk are also:

    • headache;
    • dizziness;
    • fainting;
    • sleep disorders;
    • persistent or transient visual disturbances;
    • flashing flies, veil before the eyes;
    • tinnitus, ringing in the head;
    • impaired coordination;
    • violation of tactile sensations, weakness in the arms and legs;
    • concentration disorder;
    • memory impairment.

    The only contraindication to the study is wound damage to the neck. The direction for Doppler is usually given by a neurologist.

    To prepare for the study, you need to adjust the diet. A day before the study, it is necessary to exclude products that affect vascular tone:

    • drinks containing caffeine (tea, coffee, energy drinks);
    • alcohol;
    • salty foods.

    Two hours before the procedure, refrain from taking hot baths and smoking, as well as being in smoky rooms: in the first case, the arteries and veins expand, in the second they contract.

    If you do not adhere to these recommendations before the study, the reliability of the results will significantly decrease, and you will not be able to find out the real state of the vascular walls.

    In addition, the results of ultrasound examination of BCA distort drugs that change vascular tone and affect the nature of blood flow. You should consult with your doctor about which medications you need to cancel before the diagnosis.

    As noted above, Doppler ultrasound takes very little time. An experienced ultrasound specialist will only need a few minutes to make all the necessary manipulations.

    For the procedure, you must undress to the waist. During the study, the patient lies on the couch, periodically changing position – on his back, on his side, on his stomach – so that the diagnostic specialist can examine all the vessels that need to be checked.

    Also, with ultrasound diagnostics of the neck vessels, additional functional tests can be performed:

    • breath holding
    • change of horizontal body position to vertical;
    • taking certain medications (most often it is nitroglycerin).

    Typically, such additional tests are prescribed in the presence of genetic abnormalities in the structure of the vascular system.

    Two hours before the procedure, refrain from taking hot baths and smoking, as well as being in smoky rooms: in the first case, the arteries and veins expand, in the second they contract.

    As noted above, Doppler ultrasound takes very little time. An experienced ultrasound specialist will only need a few minutes to make all the necessary manipulations.

    Abnormalities and possible diagnoses

    Blood circulates in the cavities of arteries, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the internal organs of the human body. Under normal conditions, the inner walls of the vessels always remain smooth, providing unhindered circulation. Elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood contribute to the deposition of sediment, which eventually turns into a plaque that covers the lumen of the vessel.

    With changes in blood vessels and the nature of blood flow in conclusion, concepts such as:

    • stenosis – a pathological narrowing of the lumen of the vessel, as a result of which the blood can not freely pass through them;
    • aneurysm – protrusion of the vessel wall as a result of its thinning, in which the wall of the artery or vein expands more than twice (find out about the aneurysm of the carotid artery);
    • atherosclerosis – the formation of cholesterol plaques on the walls of blood vessels that impede blood flow, resulting in an increased risk;
    • occlusion – a violation of the patency of the vessel due to damage to its wall;
    • turbulent flow – with the movement of blood through the vessel, turbulences form.

    Using the results of the study, the doctor can make the diagnosis with extreme accuracy. The most common pathologies that are diagnosed by ultrasound of the BCA are:

    • systemic damage to arteries – atherosclerosis. The primary manifestation is recorded by KIM indicators;
    • narrowing of the vessel (stenosis) or its blockage (occlusion);
    • pathological tortuosity, otherwise deformation of the arterial bed;
    • protrusion of the vascular wall (aneurysm);
    • fistula (fistula) in the intravascular space;
    • dissection or longitudinal tear and stratification of the artery wall, accompanied by hemorrhage and hematoma;
    • an inflammatory autoimmune disease characterized by a thickening of the vascular wall, distributed unevenly (nonspecific aortoarteritis);
    • steel syndrome (an anomaly in which blood supply to the arm is through the vertebral arteries);
    • functional failure of the canals of the vertebral artery due to their compression (extravasal compression).

    During the examination, the doctor has the opportunity to assess the dynamics of rehabilitation after surgical operations on the vessels.

    If the doctor has prescribed a BCA ultrasound, you can’t ignore the recommendations, because this is an examination with which you can predict the vascular health of the patient. The risk of stroke depends on the degree of narrowing of the BCA. Diagnosis using this technique is now available for most patients. Where to do an ultrasound, in a large diagnostic center or regional hospital, the patient decides. The cost of diagnosis does not exceed 3000 rubles.

    How is the study going and what preparation is needed?

    Preparation before the diagnosis involves the rejection of foods that can change the tone or filling of the vessels, as a result of which the results of the study are distorted.

    Thus, a few days before the session, you need to exclude the following products from your diet:

    • tea and coffee;
    • energy and alcoholic drinks;
    • salty dishes.

    Also, before the procedure, it is necessary to exclude being in smoky and too stuffy rooms, since being in them also affects the state of the blood vessels.

    No special preparation for the study of brachiocephalic vessels is required. However, on the day of the visit to the doctor and the day before, it is recommended not to drink strong tea, coffee, alcohol, or smoke, so as not to cause changes in the blood flow against this background.

    In a typical situation, an ultrasound of the brachiocephalic vessels lasts about 20 minutes.

    The neck of the patient should be free of clothing, chains and other jewelry. The patient is asked to lie on his back, put a small pillow or roller under the neck and shoulders. The head is slightly turned in the direction opposite to the studied side, the chin is raised.

    The doctor applies a special gel to the patient’s neck and applies a small ultrasound sensor to it. The doctor moves the sensor longitudinally and transversely along the projection zones of the studied vessels, while assessing the lumen, vascular patency, structure of the vascular wall, measures blood flow parameters on both sides.

    During the study, the doctor may ask the patient to hold his breath or vice versa to breathe deeply. After the study, the doctor issues a decryption of the received data and a conclusion.

    Special training is not provided, but the fulfillment of certain conditions will help to pass the procedure easier, and get more accurate results. Firstly, on the day of the examination, you need to give up smoking, drinking coffee and strong tea. It is advisable to limit salty foods in the diet. For three days you should not drink alcohol. Because such eating behavior can have a negative effect on vascular tone and blood vessel filling.

    Secondly, you must notify your doctor about taking any medications. A day before the procedure, it will be better to abandon the use of medications that affect the concentration of attention, nootropic and psychostimulating agents. Such drugs affect the state of the vascular system, and can distort real results. Doctors also advise, just before the study, take a walk in the fresh air.

    A bit about symptoms and treatment

    What it is?

    One of the most serious complications of such a diagnosis is an extensive stroke. It is well known that this condition often leads to death or severe disability.

    What is BCA atherosclerosis? What are the signs and treatment of this disease? What are the causes of the disease, who is at risk? All of this will be discussed in our article.

    As a violation of the brain, atherosclerosis of the cerebral vessels has a classification code according to ICD 10, being among the chronic, difficult to cure, causing a stroke diseases.

    Its essence is the deposition of fatty deposits in the form of plaques on the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the brain tissues, which subsequently not only grow, but also are converted into connective tissue. From this, the lumen between the walls of the vessels becomes narrower and the blood supply to the brain suffers.

    Cerebral atherosclerosis occurs more often in older people, its ICD code is 10: 167.2, it accounts for about half of diseases of the cardiovascular system.

    Brachiocephalic arteries are a collection of vessels that feed the brain. It is they who form the so-called Willis circle, responsible for the uniform nutrition of absolutely all parts of the brain. The appearance of any narrowing of the lumen in any area of ​​this circle can threaten oxygen starvation of the entire brain, and, in addition, the occurrence of an extensive stroke.

    Diagnostic age interval, when the majority of patients had a corresponding ICD of 10 cerebral arteriosclerosis, 40-50 years.

    To date, doctors distinguish two types of this atherosclerosis. What is BCA non-stenotic atherosclerosis? Against this background, fatty plaques are located longitudinally, without completely clogging the vessels. The second type is stenosing atherosclerosis of BCA. With it, plaques form in the form of tubercles, they increase in size and are able to completely overlap the lumen of the vessel.

    Of course, the second type of disease is most dangerous. In the presence of such a deviation, untimely treatment will inevitably lead to the development of a stroke.

    Non-stenotic atherosclerosis of the extracranial divisions of the brachycephalic arteries is determined if the plaque closes less than half of the internal lumen. This disease requires timely treatment along with emergency medical care.

    In order to have time to turn to the doctor in time, everyone should have an idea of ​​the first symptoms of this pathology.

    Atherosclerosis BCA: what is it in terms of manifestation? Unfortunately, in its first stages, this disease does not have any vivid symptoms that can prompt a person to see a doctor immediately.

    As a rule, the very initial signs of BCA atherosclerosis can begin with the appearance of rare and short-term dizziness, which is attributed to other ailments or a banal overwork.

    But with the passage of time, the head begins to spin more and more, and a person may experience the following symptoms of atherosclerosis:

    • Loss of concentration or its decrease.
    • Memory worsens.
    • Sensation of fainting conditions.
    • Numb fingers.
    • The appearance of tinnitus.
    • Regular pressure surges.
    • A condition accompanied by chronic fatigue.

    The greatest danger is the process of stenosis with atherosclerosis of BCA (narrowing of the arteries). With the development of this form of atherosclerosis, the following symptoms usually arise:

    • There is a feeling of pain in the area of ​​the heart.
    • There are stitching sensations in the hands.
    • The heart rhythm is broken.
    • Eyesight deteriorates.
    • Speech is getting worse.
    • There is nausea.
    • Dizziness appears.

    Knowledge of the symptoms, as well as the methods of treatment of atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries, is required for absolutely every person, and this is due to several reasons, namely:

    • First of all, it should be noted that today atherosclerosis is generally one of the most common diseases, which, as a rule, is diagnosed by doctors in every fifth person under the age of thirty, and in every fourth out of five people in retirement age. Non-stenotic atherosclerosis of the extracranial parts of the BCA is diagnosed more and more often.
    • The described disease is included in the top three in terms of its prevalence among other atherosclerotic diseases.
    • The severity, as well as the danger of the consequences, is due to the fact that arteries that supply blood to the human brain suffer from this pathology. The acute as well as chronic nature of cerebrovascular accident is formed extremely quickly.

    So what is BCA atherosclerosis with the stenosis process?

    It mainly develops among people who are already over forty. At the moment, doctors cannot name the exact reason for the formation of this pathology, but they highlight several risk factors that contribute to the formation of the disease, namely:

    • Smoking. This known bad habit causes a negative effect on the whole organism as a whole, especially on blood vessels. Due to smoking, the walls of the blood vessels become extremely brittle, and, in addition, attacks of hypertension can occur. Vessels due to smoking are narrowed, and atherosclerosis can occur with some factors.
    • High cholesterol. It is the high level of cholesterol that serves as the basis for atherosclerosis plaques. Harmful fat remains on the walls of blood vessels, and, in addition, arteries, due to which the lumen gradually narrows. For this reason, blood circulation is severely impaired, and the risk of dangerous complications increases.
    • Hypertension With this disease, atherosclerosis often appears, but without stenosis. Then the disease progresses, various damage to the vessels occur, which lead to their excessive fragility, as well as loss of elasticity.
    • Disorders in the hormonal background, including the background of the use of contraceptives.
    • Sedentary lifestyle.
    • Any concomitant pathology.
    • Genetic predisposition of the body.

    Atherosclerosis of the extracranial sections of the BCA is considered an extremely dangerous disease, which, without professional treatment, can cause a person’s disability or death.

    Blockage of blood vessels leads to constant oxygen starvation of the brain. This subsequently leads to the development of a stroke. The main danger of pathology is late diagnosis.

    Atherosclerosis BCA (ICD 10 I70) is difficult.

    Despite the fact that today, modern medicine is able to offer effective methods for the early diagnosis of BCA atherosclerosis, people are in no hurry to consult a doctor when the first signs of the disease appear. Most often, patients turn to a specialist only when the disease is already beginning to progress, significantly reducing the quality of life of a person.

    Today, doctors unanimously declare that if any dizziness occurs, you should definitely undergo an examination.

    Of course, the head can be dizzy for a variety of reasons, but a timely detected pathology is easily treatable without any surgical intervention.

    People who suffer from pressure surges and other abnormalities in the functioning of the vascular system are required to undergo an examination at least once a year.

    If there are signs of atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries, a person is usually prescribed a number of different diagnostic procedures by which doctors can evaluate the stage, and, in addition, the severity of the existing pathology. First of all, for these purposes, an ultrasound examination of the corresponding arteries is performed. In addition, patients are prescribed a Doppler study of blood vessels.

    Such methods make it possible to assess the degree of narrowing of the lumen, the size of the plaques, as well as the speed of blood flow. Establishing an assessment of these indicators allows specialists to select the optimal treatment for each patient individually.

    Treatment of the disease

    What is BCA atherosclerosis? Treatment, symptoms, lifestyle in this disease depend on the degree of development of the disease.

    For example, if the disease has just begun to develop, and in addition to infrequent dizziness, a person does not have any other deviations, then it is quite possible to treat medication.

    Such therapy, as a rule, is based on the expansion of blood vessels, as well as on the prevention of the formation of cholesterol plaques.

    This operation is carried out by several methods, starting from the removal of the clogged area, ending with the installation of a stand in the problem area.

    Thus, the main stages in the treatment of BCA atherosclerosis today are:

    • Complete rejection of any bad habits.
    • Strict abstinence from the use of fatty foods.
    • Reasonable and regular exercise.
    • The fight against excess weight and its reduction.
    • Treatment of concomitant pathologies.
    • Lowering cholesterol through the use of drugs.
    • Preventive measures against blood clots.
    • The use of vasodilators.
    • The course of vitamins.
    • If necessary, surgical intervention is required.

    Atherosclerosis of brachiocephalic vessels is required to be treated exclusively under the supervision of a physician. Self-treatment of this pathology can lead to the most irreversible consequences.

    Alternative methods of medicine, in turn, can offer a number of effective recipes, but they are advisable only as a preventive measure or for use as part of a comprehensive treatment.

    The neglected forms of BCA atherosclerosis in the absence of drug intervention are simply impossible to eliminate. So, we will consider the most effective natural methods against atherosclerosis:

    • Garlic cloves. This product can be eaten both fresh and in the form of all kinds of tinctures. A wonderful preventive recipe is a mixture of honey with lemon and garlic. Garlic very well strengthens blood vessels and makes their walls elastic and strong, and honey and lemon, in turn, make up for the lack of vitamins, contributing to the restoration of the vascular wall. But the most important thing to remember when treating with garlic is the regularity of its use.
    • Rosehip. This product should be consumed in the form of alcohol tincture or tea. The presented natural remedy is the most effective in the prevention of this disease. In addition, with the help of wild rose, it is possible to carry out therapy of primary atherosclerosis.
    1. Dizziness;
    2. Headache;
    3. Weakness, fatigue, decreased mental performance;
    4. Flickering of “flies” before the eyes, a feeling of veil;
    5. Prescensory conditions.
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    BCA ultrasound scan – what is it, the value of the examination in the diagnosis of pathologies

    During the study, the patient takes a lying position, a roller is placed under the neck. In this case, the head must be turned in the opposite direction from the sensor. After that, the specialist applies gel to the neck and begins to drive the sensor in this place. In certain doctor pinches blood vessels. In addition, if necessary, the patient will have to perform simple actions: breath holding, frequent and deep breathing, etc.

    UZDG is an affordable, painless and effective diagnosis that allows you to quickly determine the state of blood vessels and understand the cause of a person’s poor health. Performing an examination every year helps to prevent the development of serious consequences such as a stroke by 80%.

    Ultrasound of brachiocephalic vessels (BCC) is a non-invasive (non-penetrating) method for examining the vessels of the head and neck. In general, ultrasound diagnosis of brachiocephalic vessels evaluates not only the patency and condition of the vessels of the head and neck, but also their anatomical features.

    In addition to standard clinical and laboratory examination methods, instrumental tests are of greatest importance in the diagnosis of atherosclerosis of brachiocephalic arteries:

    • Doppler ultrasound;
    • triplex scanning of arteries;
    • angiography using a radiopaque substance;
    • MR angiography (non-contrast).

    Echographic diagnostic methods based on the action of ultrasonic radiation are safe, associated with minimal discomfort for the patient and less costly. Traditional angiography is more informative, but carries a certain radiation dose, and the modern and effective method of MR angiography is relatively expensive.

    Before treating the disease, it is important to find out the primary location, nature and severity of atherosclerotic lesions of the vascular bed.

    If the arteries that provide the bloodstream are damaged, serious impairment of brain functionality develops.

    The most dangerous condition is atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries (BCA), which threatens the health and life of the patient.

    Atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries is a narrowing and blockage of cholesterol deposits of blood vessels that transport blood to the brain.

    This disease differs from ordinary atherosclerosis in that the blood supply in the largest vascular trunks is deteriorating, providing oxygen and useful substances to an important human organ – the brain.

    Its defeat causes serious complications, the most dangerous of which is a stroke.

    BCA atherosclerosis occurs in two main forms:

    • stenosing – a plaque closes more than half of the cavity of the vessel, leading to severe stenosis of the artery with subsequent obstruction, this condition is life-threatening and requires urgent medical attention;
    • non-stenosing – the plaque grows along the length of the artery, causing a slight narrowing of the lumen, complete blockage in this case is rare.

    Atherosclerosis BCA – one of the most severe vascular pathologies

    Regardless of the type of pathology, complex therapy is required, including conservative and surgical methods. Self-medication or delayed relief may cost a person life.

    Atherosclerosis does not occur in one day, it develops over many years, causing a gradual vascular lesion and circulatory dysfunction. There is no single cause for the disease.

    But there are several factors that provoke and accelerate its development:

    • improper and unbalanced diet with excess fat, increasing cholesterol;
    • a sedentary lifestyle that provokes stagnation in the circulatory system and metabolic disorders;
    • bad habits, especially smoking, which reduce the elasticity of blood vessels and increase blood pressure;
    • excess body weight, exerting a strong load on the whole body;
    • arterial hypertension with constant jumps in blood pressure;
    • immune and endocrine diseases, including diabetes;
    • persistent hormonal disorders and concomitant hormonal therapy, thickening blood;
    • congenital predisposition to atherosclerotic changes.

    All these adverse factors can cause BCA atherosclerosis, which after 40-50 years is manifested by unpleasant symptoms and worsening well-being.

    Brachiocephalic arteries are a collection of vessels that feed the brain

    Atherosclerosis of the extracranial divisions of the brachiocephalic arteries is dangerous because for a long time it can be completely asymptomatic. And only with a significant accumulation of cholesterol deposits and a violation of the blood supply to the brain do the first unpleasant symptoms appear.

    • constant dizziness, especially with a sharp change in body position;
    • impaired coordination of movement;
    • causeless headaches;
    • memory impairment, decreased concentration of attention;
    • fainting conditions;
    • sensations of coldness in the arms and legs, regardless of the ambient temperature;
    • noise and ringing in the ears, “flies” before the eyes;
    • fatigue, low working capacity;
    • poor emotional state with depressive symptoms.

    Symptoms are rather nonspecific, but should alert and serve as a reason for going to the doctor. Even the rare appearance of at least one of the listed symptoms requires increased attention. Each missed day increases the risk of developing irreversible processes in the brain in the form of ischemic stroke or encephalopathy.

    Unfortunately, in the first stages, the disease does not have vivid symptoms that could prompt the patient to see a doctor immediately

    In the early stages, it is much easier to treat atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries than in advanced and complicated cases. Due to the asymptomatic course of the disease, it is extremely important to conduct timely diagnosis and identify the ailment as early as possible. To do this, you must regularly undergo a full examination and immediately consult a doctor at the first sign of malaise.

    Modern methods allow a complete diagnosis of the state of blood vessels with 100% determination of the diagnosis and possible complications.

    The most informative methods that are prescribed in most cases by neuropathologists are:

    • ultrasound duplex scanning (Doppler) is an absolutely safe diagnostic method that allows you to determine the anatomical structure, structural changes and the degree of blood flow disturbance in the brachiocephalic arteries;
    • magnetic resonance angiography – designed for a more detailed study of blood vessels, determine the degree and localization of atherosclerotic changes, the selection of an appropriate treatment method, is carried out with the introduction of a contrast agent and without it;
    • multispiral computed tomography (CT with contrast) – an X-ray method with a three-dimensional image of the pathological area, multilayer sections of blood vessels allow you to get detailed information about the arteries, but do not determine the nature of blood flow;
    • X-ray contrast angiography – rarely performed because of a possible allergy to contrast, is prescribed mainly in complex clinical cases requiring surgical intervention.

    With signs of atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries, the patient is assigned a series of diagnostic procedures with which doctors can assess the stage and severity of the pathology

    The listed methods are safe and almost painless. Studies require minimal preparation, are carried out quickly on an outpatient basis. The type of diagnosis is determined by the attending physician on the basis of complaints and symptoms of the disease. Often, everything is limited to ultrasound, if necessary, additional studies and clinical tests are prescribed.

    The therapy of BCA atherosclerosis completely depends on the type of pathology, the stage of its development and associated complications. An important role is played by the patient’s age and the presence of other chronic diseases, including the cardiovascular system. Only an expert is able to choose an adequate treatment; self-medication with this diagnosis is strictly prohibited.

    Possible therapeutic methods can be divided into three main groups:

    • Conservative treatment with special medications is carried out in the early stages of the disease, as well as with minor circulatory disorders. The scheme may include vascular agents (Cavinton, Actovegin), statins (Simvastatin, Lovastatin), antihypertensives (Captopril, Anaprilin), neuroprotectors (Piracetam, Picamilon), anticoagulants (“Heparin”, “Warfarin”), vitamin complexes.
    • Surgical intervention is indicated for stenotic atherosclerosis with a risk of thrombosis and stroke. Minimally invasive methods are used, as well as full-blown operations. Most often, angioplasty, stenting, endarterectomy, and shunting are performed.

    Symptoms and treatment of pathology directly depend on the degree of development of the disease

    • Alternative methods are used exclusively as a prophylaxis of pathology or as an auxiliary therapy to the main treatment. Herbal preparations based on rosehip, mint, hawthorn, alfalfa, elecampane, marigold, marigold, clover are highly effective. Teas with lemon balm, strawberries, alcohol tinctures from garlic, onions, honey, horseradish, parsley, potato juice, radish, plantain are also used. But you need to take home medicines with great care.

    Atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries can be prevented if you monitor your health and lead a healthy lifestyle.

    For patients at risk of developing atherosclerosis and for the prevention of complications, experts recommend adhering to such rules:

    • review the diet, remove fatty meat, animal fats, sausages and sweets from it, add more plant foods (greens, vegetables, fruits) and fiber-rich foods;
    • instead of tea, juices and carbonated drinks, consume more clean water and healthy herbal decoctions;
    • lead an active lifestyle, engage in fitness, swimming, cycling, medical gymnastics, exercise daily walks in the fresh air (especially with sedentary work);
    • give up smoking in any form (cigarettes, hookah, vape) and the use of alcoholic beverages;
    • get rid of extra pounds with obesity;
    • if necessary, lower cholesterol using special drugs;
    • Do not ignore medical recommendations for the treatment of chronic diseases;
    • control emotional state and psychological health.

    BCA atherosclerosis: types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

    The etiology of the disease is not fully understood. But there are provocative factors that accelerate the formation of cholesterol plaques. Among them:

    • Smoking – disrupts the metabolism, reduces the elasticity of blood vessels, provokes high-pressure attacks.

    Excess weight, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity leads to the need for drug treatment of stenosing atherosclerosis of the extracranial divisions of the brachiocephalic arteries.

    In the development of atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries play a role:

    • hereditary predisposition and genetic abnormalities (family dyslipidemia);
    • bad habits (smoking, drinking);
    • chronic liver diseases leading to impaired lipid metabolism, in particular cholesterol;
    • arterial hypertension;
    • endocrine disorders in diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome;
    • errors in the diet, excess animal fats in the body;
    • sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise;
    • frequent stress.

    It is proved that with age, the risk of developing metabolic disorders increases. Therefore, signs of atherosclerotic lesions of the brachiocephalic arteries appear more often in people over 55 years of age.

    So, what is atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries, and what pathogenetic mechanisms of development do they have? Atherosclerosis is usually called a systemic disease associated with a violation of the metabolism of lipids (fats) in the body.

    Fats are the main source of energy for humans. In addition, they perform a number of important functions – structural, synthetic, metabolic and homeostatic.

    Cholesterol is a fat-like compound, which in its chemical structure is lipophilic alcohol. In total, its amount in all organs and tissues is g, and the daily need for this substance is not more than 250 mcg.

    The body produces more than 70% of cholesterol on its own: this type of substance is called endogenous and is synthesized in the cells of the liver and adrenal glands. 20-30% of the compound comes in animal fats food.

    Among the functions of cholesterol are:

    • plastic (part of the cell wall, makes it more elastic and durable);
    • protective (blocks the penetration into the cytoplasm of cells of certain toxic substances and hemolytic poisons);
    • synthetic (participates in the synthesis of steroid hormones and vitamin D);
    • digestive (part of the bile, is involved in the digestion of food in the intestine).

    Since the substance is practically insoluble in liquid media, it is transported by special transport proteins in the blood. The complex of fat and protein was called lipoprotein. Depending on the chemical structure and functions performed, several fractions of cholesterol perform, but low and high density lipoproteins are of the greatest interest for studying the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis of BCA.

    LDL (low density) – large, rich in cholesterol and saturated fatty acids. Their main task is the transport of fat from the site of synthesis (liver or adrenal gland) to peripheral tissues. Such compounds often “lose” cholesterol molecules, which subsequently settle on the inner wall of blood vessels and, in the presence of risk factors, become the basis for future cholesterol plaque.

    HDL (high density) – small in diameter and very fast. They transport unnecessary cholesterol from organs and tissues back to the liver to further form bile acids and remove them from the body naturally. LDL is able to collect “forgotten” cholesterol on the walls, thereby being a powerful factor in preventing the formation of cholesterol plaques.

    Thus, one of the main points in the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic lesion of BCS is the imbalance between the content of cholesterol fractions: an increase in LDL concentration and a decrease in HDL.

    In addition, the disease develops with:

    • an increase in total cholesterol;
    • microdamage affecting the vascular wall.

    Note! The normal content of peripheral blood cholesterol is considered the value of 3,2-5,2 mmol / L.

    Atherosclerotic plaques in their formation undergo several successive stages, during which deposits of a fat-like substance are layered on each other, sprouting with connective tissue and strengthen with calcifications. All this leads to the fact that a mature plaque significantly narrows the lumen of the affected artery.

    Atherosclerosis is a systemic phenomenon: cholesterol plaques can form on the inner wall of all arterial vessels. Especially dangerous are the lesions of the vessels that feed the brain and heart muscle, as well as the deposition of fat molecules in the intima of large vessels (the aorta, including at the level of the arc and at the site of bifurcation, as well as throughout all departments of the BCA).

    The appearance in patients of signs of atherosclerosis of the brachiocephalic arteries requires special attention from the attending physician. Even minor circulatory disorders can cause serious hypoxia in the tissues of the brain, requiring regular intake of oxygen and nutrients.

    Nature provides for several sources of nutrition for the cerebral hemispheres:

    • common carotid artery (OSA);
    • brachiocephalic artery (right carotid artery, right subclavian artery);
    • branches of the left subclavian artery.

    It would seem that there are so many nourishing vessels, why is stenotic or non-stenotic atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries and BCA one of the most common cardiovascular diseases? The point is in the features of the blood supply to the nervous system.

    With BCA ultrasound, the following can be diagnosed:

    • Atherosclerosis of the vessels from the initial manifestations to complications. Initial manifestations are established on the basis of a thickening of the intima-media complex (CIM) in the common carotid artery. The doctor clearly sees the plaques themselves attached to the wall of the vessels, measures the diameter of the stenosis, evaluates its significance.
    • Atherosclerotic plaques can cause stenosis (partial obstruction) or occlusion (complete blockage) of the vessel.
    • Arterial deformity. The doctor determines the presence, shape and location of the deformations, gives a description of the violations caused by them.
    • Anomalies of development. You can identify the congenital absence of the vessel, a decrease in its diameter compared to the norm, the presence of aneurysms, dilatations, fistulas between the vessels.
    • Artery dissection – local stratification of the arterial wall.
    • Nonspecific aortoarteritis (Takayasu’s disease) is characterized by an uneven thickening of the vascular wall ..
    • The extravasal effect on the vertebral arteries, which occurs during pathology of the cervical spine and leads to compression or spasm of the vertebral arteries.
    • Evaluation of the effectiveness of surgical treatment of brachiocephalic vessels.

    Normally, with BCA ultrasound, the lumen of the brachiocephalic arteries should have a rectilinear course, uniform diameter and parallel walls.

    Modern Doppler techniques allow a much wider assessment of the state of blood vessels and identify some pathologies in them even in the early stages of development.

    What is the anatomy of brachiocephalic vessels?

    The largest vascular organism is the aorta. The aorta has several large branches.

    1. To the right of the aorta is the brachiocephalic (brachiocephalic) trunk. This branch is divided into the common carotid (OS) and subclavian main artery. They, in turn, are divided into even smaller vessels.
    2. To the left of the aorta is the common carotid artery (CCA) and subclavian artery, but unlike the right side, they do not form a brachiocephalic trunk.
    3. From the subclavian vessels, and sometimes even directly from the aorta, the vertebral arteries branch. Connecting among themselves, vertebral arteries create a single basilar artery. Branches of the basilar artery and both internal carotid arteries are direct sources of blood supply to the head and neck (including the brain).

    The study of brachiocephalic vessels using ultrasound has many advantages. It allows you to see all the changes in blood vessels in connection with a particular disease, their anatomical features, the degree of filling with blood and functionality.

    What is dangerous atherosclerosis BCA

    WHO distinguishes BCA atherosclerosis in a separate group of vascular pathologies. The disease has an ICD code of 10, which facilitates the search for an effective method of therapy and the diagnosis of changes.

    To determine the need for surgical treatment, a mandatory diagnostic study is performed. The purpose of the diagnosis is not only to determine the degree of closure of the lumen of the vessel with a cholesterol plaque, but also the rate of blood circulation before and after the problem area. Surgery for BCA atherosclerosis is prescribed when ultrasound signs or angiography indicates an arterial obstruction of more than 50%.

    Folk remedies can lower blood cholesterol. But in the case of an advanced stage of the disease, it is necessary to use herbal tinctures and decoctions with extreme caution, since they can provoke a rupture of the vessel.

    The permissible rate of atherosclerosis is fixed by the degree of narrowing of the lumen in the arteries and vessels. If the cholesterol plaque closes the channel by less than 50%, this is an indication for drug treatment, without the need for surgical intervention.

    What is dopplerography?

    In modern times, ultrasound diagnostics of almost any organ involves the study of its blood flow using modes based on the Doppler phenomenon – this is a spectral Doppler mode in the form of graphs of blood flow velocities and color Doppler mode, presented in the form of color staining of blood vessels. This technique is called ultrasound dopplerography.

    The essence of the study

    Brachiocephalic arteries are vessels along which are responsible for supplying blood to the brain, tissues of the head, shoulder girdle and hands. They are separated from the aorta at shoulder level. The research method is based on the use of the Doppler effect, which is named after the Austrian scientist Christian Doppler who discovered it.

    Its essence lies in the fact that ultrasonic waves from moving objects are reflected with a changed frequency: if the object moves towards the sensor, an increase in frequency occurs, when moving from the sensor, it decreases.

    The main advantages of dopplerography of the neck vessels:

    • Dopplerography is a non-invasive and therefore painless method;
    • it does not require much time – the examination takes only a few minutes;
    • This is an inexpensive study;
    • in this case, Doppler ultrasound is informative and will help the doctor make the correct diagnosis.

    UZDG BCA allows you to determine:

    • vascular wall condition;
    • vascular lesions even in the early stages;
    • the presence and severity of atherosclerosis;
    • the presence and severity of stenosis;
    • speed and nature of blood flow.

    Dopplerography also shows the anatomical features of the vessels of the neck – for example, how much they wriggle around the spine.

    With all these advantages, keep in mind that dopplerography is a more primitive method compared to duplex and triplex scanning of blood vessels. They are more informative, but require more sophisticated equipment and cost more.

    Doppler ultrasound can not show the cause of the blood flow disturbance, which is located outside the vessels, that is, if blood circulation is difficult not due to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques or blood clots.

    Performing a duplex or triplex scan will provide more information that will help your doctor find the right treatment. Informativeness further increases the use of color mapping during ultrasound diagnostics.

    Ultrasound of brachiocephalic vessels is carried out primarily to identify possible pathologies, as well as to patients with previously diagnosed hormonal and clinical disorders that pose a risk of developing vascular and heart diseases (metabolic syndrome). Without fail, the procedure is recommended in the post-infarction and post-stroke period.

    Transient ischemic attacks are harbingers of stroke

    Other indications for conducting are:

    • hypertension II (moderate) and III (severe) stage;
    • diabetes mellitus II, III, IV degree;
    • diagnosed atherosclerosis;
    • history of cerebral vascular surgery;
    • genetic predisposition.
    • memory impairment;
    • frequent headaches and dizziness;
    • recurring episodes of short-term loss of consciousness;
    • inability to concentrate;
    • pulsations in the cervical region and head area;
    • glitch in the visual perception of the picture;
    • steadily elevated cholesterol;
    • loss of sensation (sensitivity);
    • sudden disturbance of speech function;
    • temporary cerebrovascular accident (transient ischemic attack);
    • idiopathic tinnitus.

    This symptomatology indicates a violation of the blood supply to the brain. In addition, medical experts are strongly advised to undergo a BCA ultrasound scan for people with nicotine addiction, since smoking puts the vascular system at considerable risk. The procedure for ultrasound examination of brachiocephalic vessels does not have contraindications and age limits; it can be performed for women in the perinatal period and children.

    Brachiocephalic arteries are vessels along which are responsible for supplying blood to the brain, tissues of the head, shoulder girdle and hands. They are separated from the aorta at shoulder level. The research method is based on the use of the Doppler effect, which is named after the Austrian scientist Christian Doppler who discovered it.

    With all these advantages, keep in mind that dopplerography is a more primitive method compared to duplex and triplex scanning of blood vessels. They are more informative, but require more sophisticated equipment and cost more.

  • Svetlana Borszavich

    General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
    Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
    The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
    The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.

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