Carotid Artery Screening – Procedure Overview A carotid artery screening also known as a duplex scan is an abbreviated vascular ultrasound study done to assess the blood flow and wall structure of the arteries in the neck that supply blood from the heart to the face and brain. There are six carotid arteries – three on each side: the common carotid artery CCA, which divides and form the internal carotid artery ICA and the external carotid artery ECA is shaped much like the letter “Y”. The screening is noninvasive and the term “duplex” refers to the fact that two modes of ultrasound are used – Doppler and B-mode. The Doppler portion evaluates the velocity and direction of blood flow to indicate stroke risk and the B-mode obtains the image of the intima and media wall thickness IMT for heart disease risk.
Benefits – avoid disability and death
A carotid artery screening is used to assess possible occlusion (blockage) or stenosis (narrowing) of these arteries – before any symptoms occur.
You must have a “reason of medical necessity” in order to have your physician order a carotid artery scan – so that insurance would pay for it. Plaque is a build-up of fatty materials, thrombus also called a blood clot, and other substances in the blood stream are easily identified in a screening. It is not necessary to wait anymore until these factors create a symptom – or even worse – death. Call Baseline Medical – get screened now and know.
When the carotid arteries become blocked think F.A.S.T.
Face – Is one side droopy? Is your smile crooked?
Arms – Can you raise them together? Can you control movements?
Speech – What did you just say? Repeat your address – sound right?
Time – Call 9-1-1 immediately. Time lost is brain lost.
Risks – none and none.
The tragic risk – is waiting to be attacked or disabled by a symptom which could be permanent.