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Diagnostic Tests 2023

Doppler of carótida: what é, when é indicated and as é done

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Doppler of carótida: what é, when é indicated and as é done
Doppler of carótida: what é, when é indicated and as é done

Carotid Doppler, also known as carotid ultrasound, is an easy and painless test that helps evaluate the inside of the carotid arteries, which are the vessels that run along the side of the neck and carry oxygen to the brain.

When there are he alth problems, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure, fat can accumulate on the wall of this artery, which ends up decreasing blood flow to the brain. In addition, these small plates of fat can also rupture, forming a clot that can be transported to the brain and cause a stroke.

Thus, this test is widely used to assess the risk of developing a stroke and, thus, it is possible to start the most appropriate treatment, if necessary, to improve blood flow.

When is indicated

Carotid Doppler is normally indicated by the cardiologist when the person has a personal or family history of high cholesterol, has chronic diseases or lifestyle habits that could favor the accumulation of fat inside the carotid artery. Thus, this exam is indicated to assess the risk of stroke in people with:

  • High blood pressure;
  • Diabetes;
  • High cholesterol;
  • Family history of stroke or heart disease;
  • Coronary disease.

In addition to assessing the risk of stroke, carotid Doppler is indicated to investigate atherosclerosis, aneurysm and arteritis, which corresponds to inflammation of the artery walls.

How the exam is done

The exam is quite simple, it is only necessary to lie on a stretcher while the doctor passes the ultrasound device along the sides of the neck. To improve the image of the device, it may still be necessary to apply a little gel to the skin.

If it is not possible to obtain a clear image, the doctor can still ask you to lie on your side or change your body position, to improve blood flow, for example.

So, in addition to wearing comfortable clothes, it is not necessary to do any kind of preparation before the ultrasound.

Exam Results

The test result must be evaluated by the doctor and, if it is considered that there is a risk of developing a stroke, some care or treatments may be recommended, such as:

  • Eat a he althy and balanced diet;
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week;
  • Do not smoke and avoid places with a lot of smoke;
  • Take blood pressure lowering medication such as Captopril or Losartan;
  • Use cholesterol-lowering medication such as Simvastatin or Atorvastatin;
  • Take medication to prevent plaque formation, according to medical advice, such as Aspirin, for example.

In addition, when one of the arteries is very closed and therefore the risk of stroke is very high, the doctor may also recommend surgery to remove the fatty plaque from the artery wall or to place a small mesh inside the artery (stent), which prevents it from closing. After these surgeries, it may be necessary to repeat the carotid Doppler to ensure that the problem has been resolved correctly.

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