Carotid & Vertebral Artery Duplex

Assessment of Blood Flow in Neck Arteries

Carotid & Vertebral Artery Duplex
  • Investigates symptoms of a stroke
  • Detects atherosclerosis
  • Non-invasive procedure
Pricing From £210
Consultation duration 30 minutes
Professional Sonographer
Next Steps Book Ultrasound
Results Same Day Report
A carotid or vertebral duplex scan uses high frequency ultrasound to visualise blood vessel walls and examine blood flow within the carotid, vertebral and subclavian arteries. The information gathered by this exam is used to guide treatment decisions.

woman with blond hair lying on the bed & doctor perfoming an ultrasound scan on the neck area

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 the 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 allowing assessment of blood flow.

Who might require a carotid artery duplex scan?

This investigative scan may be required if there is a concern of:

  • A blockage in a carotid artery
  • Narrowing (stenosis) in a carotid artery

Some common symptoms of blockage, which might be an early warning sign of a stroke, can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Temporary blindness in one eye
  • Temporary inability to speak or move

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:

  • Investigate symptoms of a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • To assess blood flow ahead of major surgery. For example bypass surgery or surgery to fix or replace a heart valve
  • To find out if an artery wall has split (dissection). This may cause a blockage or weaken the artery wall
  • To monitor the progression of an existing disease
  • As a screen for older patients with vascular risk factors of smoking, hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidaemia

Carotid & Vertebral Artery Duplex Scan:

  • Carotid & Vertebral Artery Duplex Scan: Cost £210
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