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Carotid Arterial Duplex

Also known as: Carotid doppler ultrasound

Duration: About 30 to 45 minutes

A duplex is a noninvasive test that combines both the doppler and the ultrasound. It can be performed on either your arteries or veins.

Areas generally tested:
Peripheral Arteries (arms & legs) – Arterial Duplex 
Carotid Arteries (neck) – Carotid Duplex 
Renal Arteries (kidneys) – Renal Duplex

In a carotid duplex, two different probes/ transducers (one for the doppler and one for the ultrasound) are used to measure how well the blood is flowing in the carotid arteries.


Preparing for the test: 

Download Pre Test Instructions

How it is performed: 

  • A technician applies a gel over the tight and left sides of your neck. 
  • The ultrasound probe is held firmly against your skin and glided in multiple directions as it sends out sound waves to the carotid arteries. Images are created when the probe picks up sound waves that bounce back from the carotid arteries. 
  • Then the doppler probe is held firmly against your skin and sends out sound waves to the red blood cells in neck arteries. The blood flow is heard and assessed for any stenosis/narrowings or blockages.

After the test:

  • Your cardiologist will discuss the result with you.
  • You can continue with your daily routine.
  • Ask your cardiologist if you have any questions or concerns.

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Lin JC, Kabbani LS, Peterson EL, et al. Clinical utility of carotid duplex ultrasound prior to cardiac surgery. J Vasc Surg. 2016;63(3):710-714. doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2015.10.008
Byrnes KR, Ross CB. The current role of carotid duplex ultrasonography in the management of carotid atherosclerosis: foundations and advances. Int J Vasc Med. 2012;2012:187872. doi:10.1155/2012/187872
Cassola N, Baptista‐Silva JCC, Flumignan CDQ, Sesso R, Vasconcelos V, Flumignan RLG. Duplex ultrasound for diagnosing symptomatic carotid stenosis in the extracranial segments. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;2018(11):CD013172. Published 2018 Nov 7. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD013172
Saxena A, Ng EYK, Lim ST. Imaging modalities to diagnose carotid artery stenosis: progress and prospect. Biomed Eng Online. 2019;18(1):66. Published 2019 May 28. doi:10.1186/s12938-019-0685-7