The carotid arteries are located on either side of the neck and bring blood from the heart to the brain. These vessels can become narrowed due to hardening of the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, or a blood clot (thrombus). Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of heart attacks, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
This scan may also look at the vertebrobasilar artery, which also delivers blood to the brain.
During a carotid and vertebral artery duplex, a Specialist Vascular Sonographer will use a transducer to obtain images of the arteries. The transducer works by sending out sound waves that bounce off the blood vessels and back onto the transducer converting them into images and allows assessment of blood flow.
This investigative scan may be required if there is a concern of:
Some common symptoms of blockage, which might be an early warning sign of a stroke, can include:
Even in the absence of the above symptoms, a Carotid and Vertebral Artery Duplex Scan may be advised if your healthcare provider hears an abnormal sound in and artery, which could indicate a problem with blood flow.
Other reasons for obtaining a scan might include: