What is a carotid duplex?

A carotid duplex (also known as a carotid ultrasound) is a test designed to measure the degree of blockage in your carotid arteries. Carotid arteries are located in the neck and supply blood to your brain. This test is used to detect a blockage or narrowing of the carotid arteries, which may lead to stroke.

Your physician may prescribe a carotid duplex if:

  • You have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • You have had a stroke
  • You need follow-up testing
  • Your physician hears an abnormal sound over the carotid neck arteries

Why choose Ohio State for a carotid duplex?

Accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL), our Vascular Lab delivers the latest noninvasive tests for a wide range of vascular disorders as well as more advanced testing in the areas of arterial duplex imaging, visceral duplex, aortic duplex and aortic duplex following endovascular aneurysm repair. Our experienced sonographers assist Ohio State’s physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of the full spectrum of vascular diseases such as peripheral vascular disease, carotid artery disease and more complex disorders such as aneurysms.

Since we are an academic medical center, our patients benefit from innovative research, a depth of medical expertise and the newest technologies and treatment techniques available.

What to expect during a carotid duplex

Preparing for your procedure

There are no special instructions for preparing for this test. It is helpful to wear a loose-fitting shirt that does not have a high neck.

During your procedure

The test is performed in a vascular lab and the room is dark. It is noninvasive and painless.

You are asked to lie on your back. Your head is supported to prevent it from moving.

A water-soluble gel is applied to your skin where a hand-held device called a transducer is placed. The technologist runs the transducer over the area of the carotid arteries in your neck.

The procedure takes about one hour to complete.

After your procedure

You can resume normal daily activities immediately following this procedure. A report of the test is sent to your physician, who will contact you to discuss your carotid duplex results.

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