Carotid Artery Evaluation

Using the same machine as the one for echocardiograms, images of the carotid arteries in the neck may be obtained. The same risk factors which can cause coronary artery disease can also affect the circulation to the brain. These risk factors include hypertension (high blood pressure), smoking, high cholesterol and diabetes. Depending on the level of blockage in a carotid artery, surgical intervention may be necessary to reduce the risk of stroke. Often these blockages do not produce symptoms, so that screening the appropriate patient population is crucial to stroke prevention.