Carotid doppler

A carotid doppler is a painless ultrasound test to measure the flow of blood through your carotid arteries.

There are two carotid arteries which are the main arteries that supply blood and oxygen to your head and neck.  Your carotid arteries can become narrowed due to a build-up of plaque, causing a restricted flow of blood called carotid artery disease. This could lead to a stroke.

Your consultant may recommend a carotid doppler test if you have had a previous stroke or they feel you may be at risk of having a stroke.

A carotid doppler uses an ultrasound scanner and takes 15-30 minutes. During your scan, a probe will be passed over both sides of your neck. The sound waves bounce off your arteries and are passed back through the microphone to a computer. The computer measures these sound waves and the changes in frequency. The echo will be different in areas where the artery has narrowed.

A clear gel will be spread on both sides of your neck. This gel helps to transmit the sound waves to the probe. The probe will be pressed onto your skin and moved back and forth over your neck.

Your carotid doppler test will be recorded and then analysed by a consultant radiologist. The results should be shared with your consultant within a few days.

You should be able to go home and resume normal activities shortly after your test.