Ultrasound is safe and painless,
and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound
waves. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or
sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and
ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound
waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the
body. The transducer collects the sounds that
and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image.
Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used
in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure to the patient.
Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can
show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs,
as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.
imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians
diagnose and treat medical conditions. An ultrasound of the
body's two carotid arteries, which are located on each side
of the neck and carry blood from the heart to the brain,
provides detailed pictures of these blood vessels and
information about the blood flowing through
them. A Doppler
ultrasound study is usually an integral part of a carotid
The carotid ultrasound is most
frequently performed to detect narrowing, or stenosis, of the
carotid artery, a condition that substantially increases the
risk of stroke.