A carotid Doppler ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging test that uses sound waves to assess the blood flow in the carotid arteries, which are located on each side of the neck and supply blood to the brain. This non-invasive test helps to evaluate the presence of blockages or abnormalities in the blood vessels, which can be important in assessing the risk of stroke or other vascular conditions. Here’s an overview of what you can expect during a carotid Doppler ultrasound:
To assess the blood flow in the carotid arteries.
To detect and evaluate the presence of plaques, blood clots, or other abnormalities that may affect blood flow to the brain.
To determine the degree of stenosis in the carotid arteries.
You will lie on your back on an examination table.
The ultrasound technician will apply a water-based gel to your neck, which helps transmit sound waves.
A handheld device called a transducer is then moved over the skin in the neck area. The transducer emits sound waves, and the echoes produced by these waves create images of the blood vessels on a computer screen.
. After the Procedure:
After the ultrasound, the gel will be wiped off your skin.
You can typically resume your normal activities immediately.
- Interpretation of Results:
A radiologist or vascular specialist will interpret the ultrasound images and provide a report to your referring physician.
The results will be discussed with you, and further tests or treatments may be recommended based on the findings.
. Common Indications:
A carotid Doppler ultrasound may be performed if you have a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
It is also commonly ordered if there are risk factors for vascular disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, or diabetes.
Carotid Doppler ultrasound is a valuable tool for assessing the health of the carotid arteries and identifying potential issues that could lead to serious conditions like stroke. If you are scheduled for this test, it’s essential to follow any specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider.