Carotid artery disease, or carotid stenosis, is a narrowing or constriction of the inner surface (lumen) of the carotid artery.
The carotid artery is the large artery whose pulse can be felt on both sides of the neck under the jaw. It starts from the aorta as the common carotid artery, and at the throat it forks into the internal carotid artery and the external carotid artery. The internal carotid artery supplies the brain, and the external carotid artery supplies the face. This fork is a common site for atherosclerosis, an inflammatory buildup of plaque that can narrow the common or internal artery.