A Carotid Ultrasound is a painless, simple sonology procedure that uses the high frequency waves to develop pictures of the carotid arteries. This ultrasound technique is mainly used to ultrasound the arteries on the sides of the neck – where each has an external and internal carotid artery. The test is performed to check for waxy plaques that might have developed. These plaques cause cardiac disease by obstructing the flow of blood. Due to the location of the arteries, any obstruction can also have an adverse effect on the brain.
The various complications that can develop due to the carotid plaques are
- These plaques can obstruct the blood flow
- The can harden and rupture
- Post a rupture of the plaque a blood clot can form and also cause a stroke
- A piece of plaque or a blood clot also can break away from the wall of the carotid artery. The plaque or clot can travel through the bloodstream and get stuck in one of the brain’s smaller arteries. This can also cause a stroke.
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