CAROTID DUPLEX SCAN
A carotid duplex scan is a non-invasive tool that uses two types of ultrasounds to detect any blockages or narrowing in the carotid arteries. An ultrasound uses high pitched sound waves that are sent through a hand-held device called a transducer probe to create a picture of the inside of the body. Carotid arteries are blood vessels located on both sides the neck. The two blood vessels divide into internal and external carotid arteries. The internal carotid arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the brain. The external carotid arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the face, scalp, and neck. The carotid duplex scan uses the two ultrasounds to produce a picture of the structure of the blood vessels, detecting any blockage or narrowing in the arteries.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A CAROTID DUPLEX SCAN?
The carotid duplex scan is usually recommended by cardiologists or general internists if he or she thinks the patient may have carotid artery disease. Carotid artery disease is a disease in which a fatty material called plaque builds up inside the carotid arteries causing a blockage or narrowing.
- High levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood
- High levels of sugar in the blood due to insult resistance of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- A family history of carotid artery disease
Symptoms of blockage or narrowing:
- Sudden vision problems
- Temporarily inability to speak or move
- Numbness or weakness in your limbs and face (usually on one side of the body)
- Drooping on one side of the face
PREPARING FOR A CAROTID DUPLEX SCAN
No specific preparations are needed for a carotid duplex scan. Patients can eat, drink, and take medications as they normally would.
HOW IT IS DONE?
The test is done by a trained and professional ultrasound sonographer in our office. During the carotid duplex scan, the patient may be asked to remove any clothing or jewelry that may get in the way of the scan. If so, they will be given a gown to wear. The patient will lie down on the examination table with their head bent slightly backwards. The ultrasound sonographer will apply a clear gel on the area of the skin where the carotid arteries are. They’ll press the probe against the skin and move it around the area where the carotid arteries are located on both sides of the neck. The patient may feel slight pressure from the probe and hear a whooshing noise, which is the sound of blood moving through the vessels. When the test is done the sonographer will wipe off the gel, and the scan images are sent to a computer and recorded for Dr. Mohin. A carotid duplex scan is quick process that takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
WHY DR. MOHIN?
Dr. Mohin is a highly reviewed and accredited cardiologist with his own state-of-the-art testing facility comprised of in-house equipment. Whether you need a carotid duplex screening or an annual heart screening, Dr. Mohin can provide the most complete and thorough care. His dedicated staff is here to answer any questions, so that you can put your mind at ease. Need to make an appointment? Call us at (310) 659-9572, or click below to make an appointment below.