Each year in the U.S. 700,000 people suffer from a stroke and about 500,000 are first time attacks. A stroke is caused when there is a disruption of the blood flow to the brain due to a build up of plaque or when the vessel bursts.
Often cardio vascular disease is undetected because there may not be any symptoms before a stroke in some patients. A scan of the carotid arteries can be done to check for any plaque build up (atherosclerosis) that could be dangerous and cause a stroke. During a carotid artery screening the thickness of the intima-media is measured. Studies have shown that the thickness of the artery can show the patients risk of cardiivascular disease.
If caught early, changes in lifestyle and medication can decrease this risk by decreasing the thickness of the artery. Using state-of-the-art edge detection software at Clear Insight Ultrasound we are able to determine a patient’s IMT measurement. This form of health scanning is very effective and uses no radiation.
The screening exam will include an ultrasound of the carotid arteries in your neck to evaluate for plaque build-up and intima-media thickness. Results of your exam will be available immediately.
In preparation needed for your Stroke / Carotid Artery Disease health screening please wear a shirt with a loose collar. No turtlenecks please.
What are the carotid arteries?
The carotid arteries are two large blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood to the large, front part of the brain. This is where thinking, speech, personality, and sensory and motor functions reside. You can feel your pulse in the carotid arteries on each side of your neck, right below the angle of the jaw line.
What is Carotid Artery Disease?
If you have carotid artery disease, the arteries become narrow, usually because of atherosclerosis. This is the buildup of cholesterol and other material in an artery. If a blood clot sticks in the narrowed arteries, blood can’t reach your brain. This is one of the causes of a stroke.
Who is at risk?
Each year, over 960,000 people in the United States die from heart disease or stroke. Most people who have strokes are over age 65, and are more commen in men than women. Stroke is the number 3 killer in the US and a leading disabler of older Americans. The risk factors for carotid artery disease are similar to those for coronary artery disease:
- High levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides in the blood.
- High blood pressure
- Family history of coronary artery disease
- Lack of exercise.
What are the symptoms?
You may not have any symptoms of carotid artery disease. Plaque builds up in the carotid arteries over time with no warning signs until you have a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a stroke.
Author: Robin Badillo