A Carotid/Vertebral Ultrasound is a diagnostic examination of the primary blood vessels to the brain, they are situated on either side of the neck. This examination accurately indicates if the carotid or vertebral arteries are affected by plaques (blockages or narrowings). Such plaques can be dangerous, as they reduce blood flow to the brain. For more information please see our patient information brochure for this examination.
As there are a range of reasons why you are having this test, it is best discussed with your doctor.
- You will be taken to a private room. A staff member will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
- You will be asked to remove clothing and jewellery around your neck.
- Gel is placed on the area of interest so that the sound waves can pass through to the relevant vessels.
- The procedure consists of scanning both sides of the neck.
- The sonographer may conduct a brief examination of the blood flow in the arteries behind your eyes towards the end of the test.
- You will hear the Doppler ultrasound from time to time as it makes a pulsing noise.
- The examination takes approximately 30 minutes.