Carotid Artery (Stroke) Screening

Stroke screenings, aka color flow doppler screenings, check the carotid arteries. Thickening of the carotid artery walls in the neck is a more powerful predictor of a heart attack or stroke than high cholesterol or blood pressure. The results of the screening can be an important indicator of the need for extensive testing needed to be done by a doctor, or a change in lifestyle.

This screening can detect cumulative damage to the blood vessels before you even begin to experience any symptoms. There is great potential to prevent a heart attack or stroke in people who may appear to be perfectly healthy. It works by providing a reliable way to see the main vessels that supply blood to the brain.

A thrombus, or a blood clot, can break off from plaque build-up in the carotid artery. Once the clot travels up the bloodstream into the smaller capillaries of the brain, it can get stuck, preventing blood flow and thus causing a stroke. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States today, with someone having one every 40 seconds. Signs of a stroke include sudden weakness, vision loss, headache/dizziness and loss of speech.