Carotid duplex is an imaging test used to evaluate blood flow in the carotid arteries in the neck. These arteries supply oxygenated blood to the brain and blockage in the vessels can increase your risk of stroke. This ultrasound study detects potential plaque buildups in the arteries so it can be removed before the blockage leads to a stroke.
Duplex ultrasound uses two types of ultrasound technology to get a complete picture of how blood is moving through the carotid arteries. Conventional ultrasound effectively uses sound waves to produce a picture of the structure of the vessel. Doppler ultrasound is able to track moving objects so actual blood movement can be studied.
The examination is non-invasive and uses a handheld device called a transducer to over the skin of the neck. A gel is placed on the skin to help the transducer glide easily across the skin and allows for better reception of the sound waves. While there may be mild pressure as the transducer moves across the neck, the procedure is completely painless. Examinations typically take 30 minutes or less to perform.
Carotid duplex is an important diagnostic tool for assessing the health of carotid arteries and stroke risk for the patient. To learn more about this imaging exam, contact Northwest Vascular & Vein.