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Old 04-22-2009, 06:37 AM   #1
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Question about carotod bruit

Hi Everyone,

I really appreciate whatever information you can provide for me. Basically, I've had a heart murmur since I was a kid and it's never really been an issue. I've always been monitored by a cardiologist. I am now 40 year old female. I just had my one year PCP appointment and she found a carotid bruit on my right neck. She did not hear it when I was laying down, but heard it very clearly while sitting up. She said that it could be the Mitral Valve/Heart Murmur, but no one has ever picked up on it in the past. I even had a carotid ultrasound done in 2002 for a Free LifeLine Screening that I attended and my carotid arteries were fine. I'm worried that it's not related to the mitral valve and it is something more sinister. Does anyone know more about this. I do not have high blood pressure or cholesterol. Could plaque still build up without having cholesterol, etc... problems????

Thank you very your input. I truly appreciate it

 
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:20 PM   #2
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Re: Question about carotod bruit

Quote:
Originally Posted by saint90ms View Post
Hi Everyone,

I really appreciate whatever information you can provide for me. Basically, I've had a heart murmur since I was a kid and it's never really been an issue. I've always been monitored by a cardiologist. I am now 40 year old female. I just had my one year PCP appointment and she found a carotid bruit on my right neck. She did not hear it when I was laying down, but heard it very clearly while sitting up. She said that it could be the Mitral Valve/Heart Murmur, but no one has ever picked up on it in the past. I even had a carotid ultrasound done in 2002 for a Free LifeLine Screening that I attended and my carotid arteries were fine. I'm worried that it's not related to the mitral valve and it is something more sinister. Does anyone know more about this. I do not have high blood pressure or cholesterol. Could plaque still build up without having cholesterol, etc... problems????

Thank you very your input. I truly appreciate it
Hi there,

So you do have a heart murmur eh? Do you know which valvular abnormality you have that gives you the heart murmur? Is it mitral valve prolapse or was is it something you required surgery for as a child?

In terms of asymptomatic carotid bruits, they're usually nothing to worry about--even in older individuals who are at higher risk for severe carotid narrowing than you are. Generally an ultrasound will be done and it can detect how much narrowing there is. In young people like yourself, bruits and murmurs can sometimes appear temporarily if you're sick, or you're nervous (i.e. your heart is beating faster), if you're dehydrated etc. etc. In your case, someone who's actually had a normal carotid ultrasound in the relatively recent past, have even more evidence that it's likely nothing to worry about; however, if you have a family history of accelerated atherosclerosis with people having heart attacks, strokes or limb claudication at a young age THEN it's something that needs to be further investigated. The other thing is if you have symptoms of a large vessel vasculitis. It's hard to explain this condition because the symptoms are very non-specific, but if you've been having trouble with NEW headaches, scalp tenderness, soreness in your jaw when you chew, double vision in ONE eye or transient loss of vision in one eye, then the bruit must also be investigated. I'll bet you, though, if you return to the clinic in a month and get re-examined, the bruit will probably be gone.

 
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:08 PM   #3
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Re: Question about carotod bruit

Thanks for the info. No i did not have surgery as a child. I've always just had a minor MVP and nothing has ever evolved from it. Back in 2002, I had a temporary loss of upper vision in my right eye for about 15-20 seconds. It was as if a blind came down and stopped half way. I immediately called the doctor. They did eye tests, carotid us and echo. Nothing was found. The dr. attributed it to a migraine ((I never bought that story because I've never had a migrain in my whole life)). That was something that will remain a mystery. Now I"m thinking maybe this bruit has something to do with that. Also, can the dr. tell the significance of the bruit just by listening? For example, the severity of the blockage such as something very small to moderate/dangerous?

 
Old 04-22-2009, 07:42 PM   #4
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Re: Question about carotod bruit

Quote:
Originally Posted by saint90ms View Post
Thanks for the info. No i did not have surgery as a child. I've always just had a minor MVP and nothing has ever evolved from it. Back in 2002, I had a temporary loss of upper vision in my right eye for about 15-20 seconds. It was as if a blind came down and stopped half way. I immediately called the doctor. They did eye tests, carotid us and echo. Nothing was found. The dr. attributed it to a migraine ((I never bought that story because I've never had a migrain in my whole life)). That was something that will remain a mystery. Now I"m thinking maybe this bruit has something to do with that. Also, can the dr. tell the significance of the bruit just by listening? For example, the severity of the blockage such as something very small to moderate/dangerous?
Oh, you had visual loss?! And you have a bruit in your right neck eh? First of all, all a clinical examination of the neck can do is tell you there MAY be a narrowing. The only way to tell accurately is to actually do an ultrasound. A migraine can definitely cause the symptoms you describe, but remember that you don't always have to have headaches with migraines. In fact, many people don't have any pain whatsoever, and their symptoms are more from the aura and other neurological manifestations. Were you ever evaluated by a neurologist after that transient visual loss?

 
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