Carotid Duplex Ultrasound
Carotid duplex is a procedure that uses ultrasound to look for plaques, blood clots, or other blood flow problems in the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries, located in the neck, supply blood to the brain.
The test combines traditional ultrasound with Doppler ultrasonography and is noninvasive and painless. Regular ultrasound uses sound waves that bounce off blood vessels to create pictures. Doppler ultrasound records sound waves reflecting off moving objects, such as blood, to measure how they flow.
A carotid duplex ultrasound can help diagnose the following conditions:
- Stenosis (narrowing in the arteries)
- Thrombosis (clotting)
- Arterial occlusion
- Carotid occlusive disease
During the test
- You may be asked to wear a medical gown
- You will lie down on a table
- The ultrasound technician will spread a gel over the area being tested
- A wand, called a transducer, is moved over the area being tested
- You need to stay still during the exam
- You may be asked to lie in different body positions or to take a deep breath and hold it
- A computer measures how the sound waves reflect back and changes the sound waves into pictures
After the test Your doctor will discuss the test results with you during a follow-up visit or over the phone.
What are the benefits of ultrasound? Ultrasound has a number of benefits, including:
- It is usually noninvasive and painless
- It is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than other imaging methods
- It uses no ionizing radiation
- It provides a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on X-ray images
- It causes no health problems and may be repeated as often as is necessary
- It provides real-time imaging, making it a good tool for guiding minimally invasive procedures such as needle biopsies and needle aspiration