What is an extracranial carotid artery aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a bulging or ballooning in the wall of a blood vessel. It is caused when a portion of the artery wall weakens. Like a balloon, as the aneurysm expands, the artery wall grows progressively thinner, increasing the likelihood that the aneurysm will burst.

Peripheral aneurysms affect the arteries other than the aorta, such as the carotid artery in your neck. An extracranial carotid artery aneurysm is located in the portion of the carotid artery that is in your neck.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/29/2019.

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