A bruit is the sound of blood flowing through a narrowed portion of
an artery. The sound means that the blood flow may be partially blocked; artery
blockage is most often due to atherosclerosis (hardening of the
A doctor can hear the sound by listening with a
stethoscope placed over an artery, such as the carotid artery in the neck.
Bruits in the carotid arteries may be a sign that a blood vessel is partially
blocked, which may increase the person's risk for having a transient ischemic
attack (TIA) or stroke.