Carotid duplex ultrasound scanning is a painless procedure that measures the amount of blood flow in the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries are the two major arteries on each side of the neck that carry blood to the head.

Carotid duplex ultrasound scanning is used to evaluate the risk of stroke in patients who have a history of stroke or believed to be at high risk. Narrowed carotid arteries are a leading cause of a stroke.

How does the testing work?

Although times may vary, a carotid duplex ultrasound scan takes about 15-20 minutes. The technologist will put a clear jelly on one side of the neck. They will then place a sensor that looks like a wand or a microphone on the jelly. The jelly makes it easy for the ultrasound sensor to slide against your skin. As the technologist moves the sensor on your neck, a picture appears on a monitor. This picture shows the different rates of blood flow through the arteries. This procedure will then be repeated for the other side of your neck.