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Low grade fever, pulsating carotid artery, history of asthma. Concerned about retractive breathing

Nov 2013
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Practicing since : 1994
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My 6 yr old son had a low grade fever last night and after he fell asleep with his head in my lap I noticed his carotid artery was bulging / pulsating. His head was at an angle so I turned him to be more strait and on his back. Then the pulsations were evident down his neck to the bottom of his his throat. He has suffered from asthma since he was one but the incidents have been less severe and less often over the last year. I was concerned he was having retractive breathing & that I hadn't realized how bad his breathing may have become, but there were no other obvious physical symptoms of a problem. He did wake up with a cough and the low grade fever has continued. I didn't see his neck this morning but he commented that he felt "beeping" in his neck.
Posted Thu, 20 Sep 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 22 minutes later
Thank you for contacting Healthcare Magic.
Carotid arteries supply blood to the brain. Bounding or high volume carotid pulses signifiy a relatively higher blood flow through the carotids to the brain. Fever is the commonest cause for this situation. Of course, exercise is the normal physiological event that also leads to pulsating/bounding carotids.
Regarding any diseases leading to pulsating carotids, it is often due to heart problems. But those cases will have other symptoms such as palpitations, breathlessness, chest pain, fatigue, etc. Since your son does not have any of these symptoms, it is unlikely that he has any heart problem.
So, at present, there is no need to worry about the pulsating carotids. However, you should XXXXXXX your GP/Pediatrician for the evaluaiton of fever and cough.
I hope I have been able to solve your queries. Please get back should you have any more questions.
Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology)
XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Health City, Hyderabad
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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