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Carotid Artery Screening

Carotid duplex is an ultrasound procedure performed to assess blood flow through the carotid artery to the brain. High-frequency sound waves are directed from a hand-held transducer probe to the area. These waves "echo" off the arterial structures and produce a 2-dimensional image on a monitor, which will make obstructions or narrowing of the arteries visible.


For additional graphic detail see:


A stroke occurs when the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain is suddenly interrupted. There are two types of stroke:
  1. Ischemic stroke which is caused by the buildup of fatty deposits (plaque) in a brain artery, or by a blood clot which blocks blood flow in a brain artery.
  2. Hemorrhagic stroke which is caused by a sudden rupture of an artery leading to the brain. When blood flow ceases to the brain, the brain receives no oxygen. This can cause temporary or permanent brain damage, and with time, can result in death.

Warning Signs & Symptoms of a Stroke

A stroke can cause several different symptoms. Stroke, treated early, can increase your chance of survival and diminish the likelihood of permanent brain damage.

Be aware of the following symptoms and signs of stroke:
  • Difficulty feeling or moving on one side of the body
  • Slurring or trouble speaking
  • Brief episode of a weakness of an arm or leg
  • Momentary loss of vision
  • Darkening of the vision in one eye
  • A shade or curtain coming down over one eye
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Faint or feeling faint

How is a Stroke detected?

If you experience early symptoms of a stroke, there are imaging tests that can determine if you are having a stroke or need treatment to prevent one. Stroke is a progressive disease caused by several cardiovascular risk factors. These include family history of stroke, old age, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, lack of exercise, and stress.

Imaging studies include:
  • Carotid Duplex Scan (Ultrasound)
  • Computed topography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)