Which studies are performed in the workup of atherosclerotic disease of the carotid artery?

Updated: Sep 29, 2021
  • Author: Jake F Hemingway, MD; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Studies to be considered include the following:

  • Complete blood count
  • Levels of electrolytes, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine
  • Lipid profile
  • Coagulation studies - Prothrombin time/activated partial thromboplastin time
  • Electrocardiography - To identify evidence of prior MI as well as ischemic changes
  • Carotid duplex ultrasonography, with or without color - Screening test of choice to evaluate for carotid stenosis
  • Cranial computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging - To rule out other intracranial lesions and to identify the presence of new and old cerebral infarcts
  • Carotid magnetic resonance angiography - May be useful in collaborating the finding of an occluded carotid with duplex sonography; however, this modality tends to overstate the significance of the stenosis
  • Aortic arch and carotid arteriography - To evaluate the percentage of stenosis

See Workup for more detail.

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