Carotid imaging is a safe non-invasive diagnostic assessment of the blood flow through the vessels that supply the neck and brain. “The duplex scan has become the definitive test in the diagnosis of carotid arterial disease” (Journal, The American Surgeon). This test affords superior visualization of plaque thickness and accumulation within the carotid artery, while other types of blood flow problems are assessed with this procedure.
The use of Doppler-based technology also allows some vascular diseases to be detected through the imaging. Carotid ultrasound is also used as a preventive screening test in people who have previously diagnosed medical conditions that increase their risk of stroke, including high blood pressure and diabetes. People with these conditions may benefit from having their carotid arteries checked regularly even if they show no signs of plaque buildup.
- Abnormal sound observed in carotid artery
- Blood clots/slowed blood flow in the carotid artery
- Had a stroke or ministroke recently
- Split/Weakness in the tissues of the carotid artery wall
- Episodic dizziness
- Cerebral embolization
- Cervical or carotid bruit
- Memory Loss
- Cluster type headache
- Loss of balance
- Loss of vision/field cut
- Increased vessel wall rigidity found during palpation
- Motor or sensory deficit
- Unilateral paresthesias
- Drop attacks
- Amaurosis Fugax (transient monocular blindness)
- Fluctuating confusion
A carotid ultrasound also may be done to see whether carotid artery surgery has restored normal blood flow after a stenosis has been diagnosed or repaired.