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In many cases, the condition is asymptomatic, but pieces of the plaque can break off, often leading to a transient ischemic attack or, more rarely, a stroke. In many cases, numerous TIAs may signal an oncoming stroke.
The condition can be diagnosed through non-invasive means, usually a duplex ultrasound. However, in cases where the condition presents with complications, further radiological investigation is warranted.
Once diagnosed, the condition may remain stable and the risk of TIA or stroke depends on the severity of the symptoms and the extent of the narrowing. This risk must be weighed against the risk of treatment options and the likelihood a patient will follow a treatment regimen. In any case, treatment is usually focused on controlling the condition and the risk of stroke rather than curing the condition. However, if symptoms are serious, invasive surgical procedures are recommended to physically cut into the artery and remove the plaque. However, in asymptomaic patients, there is no clear consensus on whether any medical intervention is justified.