The Carotid Ultrasound Scan
Ultrasound of the carotid arteries is used to evaluate the main arteries of the neck that feed oxygenated blood to the brain. Sometimes, these vital arteries can be narrowed due to a build up of plaque. Narrowing of the vessels can increased the risk of a stroke.
A carotid ultrasound scan can show if there is any narrowing or blockages in the neck arteries leading to your brain.
According to the NHS Choices, when carotid ultrasonography is needed, it should happen within 48 hours and this why our clients do not want to wait for NHS ultrasound appointment as earlier diagnosis can lead to early treatment and sometimes save lives.
What is the purpose of this scan?
The Carotid Arteries scan includes evaluation of:
- Common carotid artery
- Internal carotid artery
- External carotid artery
- Vertebral artery
Reasons for having a carotid artery ultrasound scan:
- Family history of stroke or heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Recent stroke
- Known coronary artery disease
What is included with this scan?
Ultrasound report and if needed, a follow up recommendation.
Preparation for this scan?
No preparation for this ultrasound scan is necessary.
What should I expect?
Before the scan the sonographer will explain the examination procedure. You will be asked to lie on the examination couch and expose your neck.. We will put a little gel on your skin and a small ultrasound probe will be used to obtain images of your carotids. Sometimes you might hear a pulsating sound coming out of the scanner. This is nothing to worry and it what is called Doppler ultrasound.
During and after the examination our sonographer will explain the findings and an ultrasound report will be issued to take away with you.
About Vascular Ultrasound
Vascular ultrasound is carried out in order to monitor blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body, locate and identify blockages and abnormalities like blood clots, plaque or emboli.
Vascular ultrasound can also help to identify areas of abnormal widening of blood vessels (aneurysm) that, if left untreated, can lead to serious consequences.
A Doppler ultrasound study may be part of a vascular ultrasound examination. Doppler is a special ultrasound technique that evaluates the speed and volume of blood as it flows through a blood vessel, including the body's major arteries and veins in the abdomen, arms, legs and neck. It can help to diagnose blockages to blood flow (such as clots) narrowing of vessels (possibly caused by plaque) and tumors and congenital malformation.
As the images are captured in real time, they can help the sonographer monitor the blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body.