Carotid Doppler Test

What is a Carotid Doppler Test?

Carotid doppler ultrasound is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to measure the flow of blood through the large carotid arteries that supply blood to the brain. These arteries can become narrowed due to arteriosclerosis or other causes, and this can lead to transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke) or cerebral vascular accident (stroke). The carotid doppler test can help doctors determine stroke risk and the need for preventive measures.

Why do I need to have a carotid doppler test?

A carotid doppler test may be performed if you have had a stroke, or, if based on your doctor's evaluation, you are considered to be at increased risk of having a stroke due to decreased blood flow in the carotid arteries.

What perparations are necessary for carotid dopper test?

This is a non-invasive procedure, and no special preparations are necessary.

How is a carotid doppler test performed?

The ultrasound technician will apply a jelly-like substance to both sides of your neck, where the carotid arteries are located. This helps lubricate the skin and allow the ultrasound sensor to move more freely. The sensor is moved back and forth over the neck and generates sound waves that bounce off the arteries. The echo that bounces back is measured, and the changes in frequency can measure the flow of blood. The flow will be different in areas that are narrowed.

What can I expect after a carotid dopper test?

This test takes an average of 15 to 30 minutes for most people, though it can vary. Once the test is completed, you will be free to resume normal activities with no restrictions.