A stroke results from the disruption of adequate blood flow to the brain. The most common source of disruption is a significant blockage of the carotid artery, caused by the excessive accumulation of plaque along the artery walls. The carotid artery is the main blood supply to the brain. The artery travels up the side of the neck and divides into two arteries. The first is the internal carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain. The second is the external carotid artery, which supplies blood to the face and scalp.
The amount of plaque will be denoted as minimal, minimal to moderate, moderate or finding of possible significance. InSight Ultrasound Specialists cannot give percentage blockage. If your test results are categorized as Minimal, this indicates that the blood flow is essentially normal, please take a copy of your results on your next normal visit to your physician, to be filed. If your test results are categorized as Minimal to Moderate this indicates that you do have some plaque buildup but it has not affected blood flow, you should be re-screened in one year. If your test results are Moderate, this indicates that the plaque has a moderate effect on blood flow; please visit with your physician about your results and for further follow up. The category of Finding of Possible Significance requires immediate attention and follow-up with your physician.
You may have numbers denoted by cm/sec on your form indicating the velocity (speed) of blood flow. There are many factors that can play a role in how these numbers are interpreted, such as; size of the artery, the amount of plaque, whether the artery is high resistance or low resistance and cardiac output. Therefore, the velocity cannot be compared to a spouse or neighbor. The normal range for velocity is unique for each individual. A minimal amount of plaque may be detected as adults reach the age of forty-five. The velocity becomes a key component if you are classified as “Moderate” or if you have a “Finding of Possible Significance”.
The aorta should measure less than three centimeters (cm). When the aorta measures greater than 3 cm, an aneurysm is suspected. There are two types of aneurysms. The first is fusiform, which is a generalized enlargement of that particular area of the aorta where the aneurysm is suspected. The second type is saccular, which is a focal enlargement creating a bulge of one side of the aorta. If your results indicate a possible aneurysm, please follow up with your doctor. An indication of a “Minimal Focal Dilation” does not mean that you have an aneurysm, please follow up with your physician he/she may want to track your aorta measurement.
This screening is a mathematical ratio between the systolic pressure in the arms and the systolic pressure in the legs. The ratio provides an indication as to whether there is adequate blood flow or circulation through the arteries in the legs. A systolic pressure is taken using a Doppler, in both of the arms and legs. The results are calculated by dividing both the ankle pressures by the higher arm pressure. A normal classification is any result greater than .90. If the results are classified as less than .90, or unable to occlude, then the artery may be hardened. This can occur with diabetics. If your results are abnormal please follow up with your doctor.
If you should have any questions about your results, please call InSight Ultrasound Specialists at 1-239-691-6653
Please be advised that this form should not be used as a substitute for visiting with your physician about your results.
Carotid IMT measurements, using FDA approved software, can detect the minute, subtle thickness changes in the layers of your arterial wall lining and accurately assesses your "vascular age" as compared to your actual, or chronological age. The relationship between the 2 age numbers can help you and your physician assess your risk of a cardiovascular event. No other technology approaches the accuracy of this clinically tested, simple, painless and affordable radiation-free exam. Included in the Carotid IMT exam is a check for critical blockages (70% or more) that would require an immediate consultation with a physician or a vascular surgeon.
Your doctor will now have assistance in monitoring the progress of your health choices at appropriate intervals using the IMT scan as a tool to track and chart the atherosclerotic burden/wall thickening in your arteries.