Other Names: Carotid duplex, duplex ultrasonagraphy, carotid artery sonogram, carotid artery evaluation 

Description/Test Basics/Reasons for the test: Duplex ultrasound is a form of ultrasound that produces images that can differentiate between the body's soft tissues and its fluid-filled structures. It can also be used to detect the movement of blood cells, or blood flow, and image the structure of the blood vessels through which the blood is moving. It can therefore be used to detect arterial narrowing.

Carotid ultrasound is a form of duplex ultrasound that uses high-frequency sound waves to measure blood flow through the carotid arteries, located in the neck, and detect any narrowing or blood flow problems within them. The carotid arteries supply blood to the brain. For this reason, the carotid ultrasound exam is one way used to asses a patient's risk of having a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Test preparation/pre-test guidelines: No preparation is necessary. Take your medications as you normally would. Typically there is no food or liquid restriction before a duplex ultrasound is performed. The physician will provide any special instructions regarding medications, as appropriate.

Test process/How the test is done: You will be asked to lay on your back. Your head will be slightly elevated and supported to prevent it from moving. Beth Lovett, our trained sonographer, will request that you lay quietly during the test to help ensure the images are clear. She will then apply a water-soluble gel on your skin and gently run a transducer, or ultrasound probe, over your neck to obtain images of the underlying carotid arteries. The procedure typically lasts for 30 minutes, but the duration varies depending on the structure being examined


Post-test guidelines:  Patients can resume normal activity immediately following the exam.


Test Location: Your carotid ultrasound examination will be performed at our main office, located in Denton, Texas:  
The Heart Center of North Texas
3304 Colorado Blvd.
Suite 101
Denton, TX 76210

HOSPITAL PRIVILEGES:   •  Denton Regional Medical Center   •  Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton
   •  Muenster Memorial Hospital   •  North Texas Medical Center

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