A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood vessel to the brain ruptures or is clogged by a blood clot or plaque. When this happens, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. The most common type of blockage is within the internal carotid artery, caused by the accumulation of plaque in the artery walls. Plaque is a build up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances that deposit along the walls of the arteries. These three screenings are performed to find disease before symptoms begin. The goal is to detect disease at its earliest and most treatable stage.
CAROTID ARTERIAL SCREENING
Using state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment, this screening is a painless and non-invasive look inside your carotid arteries to check for plaque formation. Using Doppler we are able to assess blood flow and speed, along with intima media thickness. Carotid blockage accounts for 80% of all strokes, 50-75% of which could be prevented with screening and education.
ABDOMINAL AORTA SCREENING
The Aorta is the main artery (blood vessel) in your body. Coming out of the heart, the aorta travels down the center of the chest, into the abdomen and splits into the two arteries that supply blood to the legs. An aortic aneurysm is a generalized enlargement or bulging in an area of the aorta and is 85% fatal if ruptured. This screening is a quick and painless ultrasound of the abdominal area where the aorta is viewed and measured in multiple locations. The aorta should measure less than three centimeters in width. When the aorta measures greater than 3 cm, an aneurysm is suspected. Most aortic aneurysms are asymptomatic, meaning without symptoms.
ANKLE BRACHIAL INDEX SCREENING
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a condition similar to Coronary Artery Disease, where deposits build up in the arteries restricting blood flow. Using Ultrasound Doppler, this screening measures the systolic pressure of the brachial artery in the upper arms and the ankle artery in the legs. The results are then calculated using a mathematical ratio to determine if there is any reduction in blood flow to the extremities.