unnamed.jpg

Carotid

A carotid ultrasound is performed to test for narrowed carotid arteries, which increase the risk of stroke.

Carotid arteries are usually narrowed by a buildup of plaque — made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances circulating in the bloodstream. Early diagnosis and treatment of a narrowed carotid artery can decrease stroke risk.

Your doctor will recommend a carotid ultrasound if you have transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or certain types of stroke and may recommend a carotid ultrasound if you have medical conditions that increase the risk of stroke, including:

  • High blood pressure

  • Diabetes

  • High cholesterol

  • Family history of stroke or heart disease

  • Recent transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke

  • Abnormal sound in carotid arteries (bruit), detected by your doctor using a stethoscope

  • Coronary artery disease