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Carotid Artery Screening
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• High cholesterol
• Coronary artery disease (angina pain or previous heart attack)
• Lack of exercise
• Family history of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries and/or stroke)
• Irregular heartbeat, particularly arterial fibrillation (a diagnosed condition where the heart chambers quiver and beat ineffectively)
Why should I be screened?
Carotid artery disease blocks the arteries to the brain and is a leading cause of strokes. It can be easily and accurately diagnosed using an ultrasound scan that is simple, painless, and takes only a few minutes. The results of not treating the disease are devastating.
•Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the United States with nearly 157,000 people
•Stroke is the leading cause of permanent disability in older people.
•Almost 75 percent of people who suffer a stroke never knew they had carotid artery disease.
•In 2006 it was estimated that Americans would pay about $57.9 billion for stroke-related medical costs and disability.
How do you screen for carotid artery disease?
The diagnosis of carotid artery disease can be confirmed, and its severity established by a noninvasive Duplex ultrasound examination. It measures blood flow in the carotid arteries in the neck to detect the presence of blockages in the circulation to the brain. The Duplex carotid scan can measure the degree of obstruction in the carotid arteries and help predict the risk of stroke.
It is a painless exam and takes only a few minutes. The carotid Duplex ultrasound examination was pioneered by vascular surgeons who are experts in its interpretation.
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