Carotid ultrasound is a painless and harmless test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create pictures of the insides of the two large arteries in your neck. These arteries, known as carotid arteries, supply your brain with oxygen-rich blood. You have one carotid artery on each side of your neck.
Carotid ultrasound shows whether a substance called plaque (plak) has narrowed your carotid arteries. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Plaque builds up on the insides of your arteries as you age. This condition is called carotid artery disease.
The test shows whether a waxy substance called plaque has built up in the carotid arteries. The buildup of plaque in the carotid arteries is called carotid artery disease. It can help detect the plaque buildup, allowing doctors to treat it before any harm is done.
Carotid ultrasound is a painless test, and typically there is little to do in advance. Your doctor will tell you how to prepare for your carotid ultrasound. Carotid ultrasound is a painless test done in a doctor's office or hospital. It often doesn't take more than 30 minutes and usually requires no preparation or follow up.
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