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David J. Utlak, MD
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Carotid Duplex Ultrasound

Carotid artery disease occurs when the major arteries in your neck become narrowed or blocked. These arteries, called the carotid arteries, supply your brain with blood. Your carotid arteries extend from your aorta in your chest to the brain inside your skull.

During your exam, your physician will listen for sounds of turbulent blood flow in your carotid arteries. He or she may also measure your blood pressure.

After the history and exam, if your physician suspects you have carotid artery disease, he or she will perform a carotid duplex ultrasound. In this painless test, a technician holds a small ultrasound probe to your neck. The probe emits high-frequency sound waves that bounce off of blood cells and blood vessels to show blood flow and problems with the structure of blood vessels. This test can show your physician how open your carotid arteries are and how quickly blood flows through them.

Carotid duplex ultrasound detects most cases of carotid artery disease. Therefore, your physician usually may not need to perform other tests.


Color Doppler Flow in the Carotid