Vascular Lab Carotid Doppler Ultrasound and Echocardiogram

Vascular Lab Carotid Doppler Ultrasound and Echocardiogram

Regions Stroke and Neuroscience Hospital has the most advanced dedicated vascular ultrasound machine in the region in its vascular laboratory. A dedicated vascular ultrasound machine is very distinct and configured differently by the manufacturers with specific software to perform studies of the blood vessels and heart. Their accuracy for vascular studies is different and uniquely superior when compared with general ultrasound machines used in performing obstetric studies in pregnant women: This machine specifically manufactured to conduct echocardiography and carotid ultrasonography. An Echocardiogram (echo) is a test that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) that help us view your heart. Because heart diseases can cause strokes, the use of echocardiogram helps us identify some heart conditions that can cause you to have stroke. Examples of these heart diseases are a weak heart (cardiomyopathy), abnormal thickness (hypertrophy) of the heart muscles, abnormal hole in the heart and abnormal deposition of blood clots in the heart.

Echocardiograms performed for stroke patients are often more detailed than ordinary echocardiograms and may involve the use of saline bubbles (bubble study) to detect subtle but important conditions such as a hole in the heart called a Patent Foramen Ovale or Septal defects. About 20% of normal people are born with these abnormal holes. These people usually do not experience any heart problems and generally do not know that they have this condition. Unfortunately, when blood clots formed elsewhere in the body pass through these holes, the clots travel straight to the brain and can cause a stroke. Your stroke specialists should make sure that you do not have these abnormal holes. <br>

 

Carotid ultrasound uses sound waves to produce pictures of the carotid arteries in the neck which carry blood from the heart to the brain. It’s most frequently used to screen patients for blockage or narrowing of the carotid arteries, a condition called stenosis which may increase the risk of stroke. It may also be performed if a patient has high blood pressure or a carotid bruit (pronounced brU-E)—an abnormal sound in the neck that is heard with the stethoscope. Other risk factors that may result in carotid stenosis are: Diabetes, Elevated blood cholesterol, A family history of stroke or heart disease, predict a higher risk of stroke in children with sickle cell disease.

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