Atherosclerosis in the carotid bifurcation is a highly variable disease that, in its stable form, can cause a dangerous reduction of blood flow to the brain. If the plaque ruptures or ulcerates, the patient is likely to experience a thrombotic or embolic stroke. Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the western world, and approximately 10–15% of these cases develop from carotid atherosclerosis [1]. In addition to the complex biochemistry involved in the initiation, progression, and acute insult of carotid disease, the mechanical environment of the carotid bifurcation may also play a pivotal role in these disease states.

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