AIM OF THE STUDY

Carotid duplex ultrasound scanning is the principal investigation for the detection of plaque which may be causing narrowing in the arteries that supply blood to the brain, and which may cause strokes or mini-strokes. Additionally carotid duplex scans are frequently performed for follow-up after surgery or stenting of the carotid arteries.

PATIENT PREPARATION

No specific preparation is required for a carotid duplex ultrasound scan.

STUDY TECHNIQUE

The carotid duplex ultrasound scan is performed with the patient lying down. The neck, where the carotid vessels are located, needs to be exposed. Ultrasound jelly is put on the neck and the ultrasound scan is performed using an ultrasound probe or transducer which bounces ultrasound waves off the carotid vessels to allow examination of the blood flow within these arteries, and to determine the presence of any plaque and narrowing. During the study you will experience some minor pushing and pressure on your neck, and you will need to tilt your head from side to side.

STUDY TIME

The carotid duplex ultrasound scan, depending on the difficulty of the study takes between 10-20 minutes approximately.

DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA

Narrowings (or stenoses) are graded as < 50%, 50-69%, 70-79%, 80-99% 90-99% or completely occluded.