Your health care provider has ordered a Carotid Duplex examination. The Carotid arteries are two large blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain. When these vessels become clogged or narrowed there is potential for injury to the brain, such as a TIA or CVA (stroke). A Carotid Duplex evaluation is a simple, painless, and completely non-invasive test which uses Doppler and color flow ultrasound technology to create images of your carotid arteries while capable of measuring the blood flow through them. This exam usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete and is routinely done bilaterally.
The technologist performing the exam is specially trained to evaluate the Carotid arteries for abnormalities, and will create images and velocity measurements of each vessel examined. You will be asked to lie on a stretcher with your head slightly raised on a pillow. It is best to wear clothing that opens at the collar for easy access to the neck. The room will be darkened during the exam. The technologist will place warmed gel on the ultrasound transducer and, starting at the lower portion of your neck, move the transducer up toward your ear using minimal pressure. There are multiple images taken, and when evaluating the flow of blood you will hear your pulse or heartbeat. Both sides of your neck will be examined. When the test is completed the technologist will clean the remaining gel from your skin and help you get to a sitting position. You will be able to leave as soon as the test is completed. The technologist is not permitted to discuss the results with you.
The physician will interpret the images and velocity measurements. Within two days a copy of the test results will be sent to the ordering provider.