New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine

Allen Towfigh, MD

Ultrasound

Cerebral Vascular (Carotid) & Transcranial Ultrasounds

Overview

Carotid and Transcranial ultrasounds are painless non-invasive studies that use high-frequency sound waves to create images of your arteries which you will later see and review with the physician.

The internal carotid arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your brain. The external carotid arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your face, scalp, and neck.

We conduct these tests to monitor your risk associated with stroke and heart disease and to monitor the progression of previously known calcifications to try and determine best course of actions to limit adverse outcomes, such as stokes.

Carotid Doppler Ultrasound

This study screens the carotid arteries for plaque and quantifies the degree of luminal narrowing. Over time, your arteries can become narrowed and significantly blocked by cholesterol plaques. These plaques may break away from the vessel wall and travel to the brain causing a stroke. This study aims to identify individuals at risk and prevent them from having a stroke.

Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound

Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasound assesses the speed and direction in which the blood is flowing through the brain. Transcranial ultrasound helps stratify your risk of stroke and heart disease.

What will happen during the test?

The technician will ask you to lie on the exam table and then later maneuver into a few different positions during the test. A water soluble gel will be applied to various areas of your head and neck and is utilized to facilitate the sound waves.

The duration of the test is typically 30-45 minutes.

How do I prepare for the test?

There are not pre-testing requirements. You are able to eat regularly and continue to take your medications as directed by your physician.