Carotid artery sonograms assesses stroke risk

A carotid artery sonogram at Baylor Scott & White Legacy Heart Center in Plano can assess the stroke risk from carotid artery stenosis or narrowing of the carotid arteries.

Carotid arteries are the main arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain.

Preparing for your carotid artery sonogram appointment

If you routinely take any medications, take them as prescribed.

What should I bring with me to the appointment?

  • Insurance card
  • Referral for the stress test if required by your insurance company

What to expect

The carotid artery sonogram test at Baylor Scott & White Legacy Heart Center in Plano takes approximately 30 minutes. This is accomplished by placing a transducer on your neck with a small amount of ultrasound gel. The transducer sends sound waves through your neck to the carotid arteries and back. Then with the aid of computer software and a monitor we are able to image your arteries and display it on a monitor in front of you.

In conjunction with this imaging, we will assess the blood flow with both pulsed doppler and color flow doppler, which measure the speed and direction of the blood flow. By assigning color to the direction of blood flow—called color flow mapping—large areas of blood flow may be studied, which allows abnormal blood flow characteristics to be interpreted by the cardiologist.

After you leave the laboratory the technologist will document measurements from the images.

A Baylor Scott & White Legacy Heart Center physician will review the images and measurements. If you have had a previous study the results will be compared.