Carotid ultrasound uses sound waves to produce pictures of the carotid arteries in the neck which carry blood from the heart to the brain. A Doppler ultrasound study—a technique that evaluates blood flow through a blood vessel—is usually part of this exam. The primary purpose of a carotid ultrasound is to test for narrowed carotid arteries that indicate an increased risk of stroke.
Narrowing of carotid arteries is usually caused by plaque—a buildup of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances that circulate in the bloodstream. Early detection of narrowed carotid arteries enables your doctor to begin treatments to improve blood flow to your brain and decrease your risk of stroke.
Carotid doppler services are available at both our Shadyside and Jefferson Offices.