A doctor who specializes in imaging tests (radiologist) will review your test results, then prepare a report for the doctor who ordered the test. This may be your primary care doctor, a doctor trained in heart and blood vessel conditions (cardiologist), or a doctor trained in brain and nervous system conditions (neurologist).

The radiologist may also discuss the results of the test with you immediately after the procedure.

The doctor who ordered the test will explain to you what the carotid ultrasound revealed and what that means for you.

If the test reveals you're at risk of a stroke, your doctor may recommend the following therapies, depending on the severity of blockage in your arteries:

  • Eat a healthy diet, including fruits, vegetables and whole-grain breads and cereals, and limit saturated fat.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Don't smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Take medications to lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Take medications to prevent blood clots.
  • Have a surgical procedure to remove carotid artery plaques (carotid endarterectomy).
  • Have a surgical procedure to open up and support your carotid arteries (carotid angioplasty and stenting).

If your doctor ordered the carotid ultrasound as a follow-up to a surgical procedure, your doctor can explain whether the treatment is working, and whether you'll need additional treatment or follow-up exams.

Additional tests

If your results are unclear, your doctor may order additional imaging tests, including:

  • Computerized tomography angiogram (CTA) scan. A CTA scan uses a series of X-rays to produce detailed images of the blood vessels in your body. Your doctor may inject a dye into a vein to highlight your carotid arteries.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of soft tissues in your body. A magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) scan also may be performed to get a better look at blood vessels.
Oct. 08, 2015