Since Hunt,1 in 1914, called attention to the importance of carotid insufficiency there has been increasing interest in the clinical identification of carotid artery narrowing or occlusion. Arteriography,2,3 ophthalmodynamometry,4 contralateral carotid compression,5,6 and palpation of the carotid arteries in the neck7 and pharynx8 have all been recommended as diagnostic measures.
The simplicity of carotid artery auscultation commends it as a means of detecting narrowing of the homo- or contralateral lumen, since bruits have been identified in patients with carotid insufficiency.9
However, children have been reported to have cranial bruits which are of no pathological significance,10 and attention has been called to the innocence of supraclavicular bruits in adults.11 The possibility has also been raised that abdominal bruits in adults may not signify vascular disease.12
Accordingly, it seemed appropriate to determine the incidence of carotid artery bruits in persons without neurological disease.
One thousand patients were randomly selected from a group of presumed normal individuals from the clinic and ward census