Tests on man complaining of sinusitis uncover brain condition putting him at risk of stroke

Excessive cholesterol deposits had narrowed the patient’s left carotid artery by 70 per cent, restricting blood flow to the brain

Doctors have saved a man from a potentially life-threatening stroke after they discovered damage in his brain's left hemisphere.

Manokurian Mathew, 40, visited Zulekha Hospital Dubai thinking he had a simple case of sinusitis.

After complaining about difficulty sleeping and headaches, he mentioned to the doctor that he was becoming very forgetful. Concerned about the memory loss, the doctor recommended imaging the brain.

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I was just assuming it could be only sinusitis or migraine. If the infarctions were unidentified, my career and entire life would have been in danger

The results revealed two areas in the left hemisphere had been severely damaged by lack of blood flow.

Brain strokes are common in smokers, those with unidentified diabetes, hypertension and people with high cholesterol.

In Mr Mathew's case, the left internal carotid artery supplying blood to the brain had narrowed by 70 per cent due to excessive cholesterol deposits.

Diabetes and lifestyle choices placed Mr Mathew in the high risk category for strokes.

“Being a diabetic and a smoker has increased his risk of these infarctions," said Dr Shyam Babu Chandran, consultant neurologist.

Mr Mathew had assumed bouts of weakness in the right arm were a symptom of exhaustion and poor sleep posture.

The feeling of weakness had gone away after a few hours on both occasions, so he had not taken the episodes seriously.

"The two instances of right hand numbness he experienced were a result of the repeated internal clotting that probably has formed and migrated from the left carotid plaque and impacted the nervous system," said Dr Shyam.

"In such cases it is very important to thoroughly evaluate and plan potential treatment to prevent future high-risk strokes.”

With the issue identified, Mr Mathews was scheduled for a procedure called CAS (carotid angioplasty and stenting).

"The two-hour procedure was done through a minimally invasive puncture in the femoral artery," Dr Shyam said.

"Closely monitoring the patient after the procedure is very critical as there are chances of a sudden rush of blood through the cleared arteries that could cause a sudden stroke in the form of bleeding in addition to slowing of heart rate and low blood pressure."

The team of doctors successfully performed the operation and lowered Mr Mathew's risk of stroke.

He was discharged the next day.

"It is great that Dr Shyam was able to diagnose the hidden danger in the left carotid artery and treat me correctly in time," said Mr Mathew.

"I was just assuming it could be only sinusitis or migraine. If the infarctions were not identified, my career and entire life would have been in danger.

"This is important and I would advise anyone who has any unusual symptoms to immediately get yourself checked by a professional.”

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