This service is a valuable complement to cardiovascular lab tests as we can visually see the current physical condition of a patient’s carotid arteries. Sometimes lab tests can be completely normal but arteries show plaque build-up or artery wall stiffness – both indicators of cardiovascular disease.
Traditionally, these tests are only available and covered by insurance when a heart attack or stroke have already occurred. We feel that is simply too late. Most cardiovascular problems can be prevented with early detection and intervention.
By moving this test from a hospital to a clinic setting, we are able to offer this test at a cost lower than that of most insurance provider’s copay. If you even suspect cardiovascular issues, please avail yourself of this simple, non-invasive screening that may save our life.
Ultrasound is accurate, non invasive and does not expose us to harmful radiation. In fact, a recent review for the American Journal of Cardiology found carotid Intima-Media Thickness (thickness of arterial wall) measurements to be a more accurate indicator of cardiovascular disease than stress tests, cholesterol measurements, C-reactive protein, Echocardiograms and many other traditional risk factors.
Ultrasound allows us to look at a live blood vessel and measure velocity of blood flow, thickness of the arterial wall, the presence of plaque build-up, weaknesses of the wall itself and much more.
Carotid ultrasound with IMT (Intima-Media Thickness).
This test evaluates the carotid arteries in the neck, which supply blood flow to the brain. It identifies the presence of plaque and measures its size, location and characteristics. It also gives us the thickness of the intima-media layer of the carotids or IMT. This measurement is the most accurate in identifying heart attack and stroke risk.
The IMT test is also referred to as the vascular stiffness test or the vascular age test. It calculates our vascular age and compares it to subsequent measurements allowing us to determine whether our arteries are aging faster than the rest of our body.
Everyone, 40 years and older should have this test. Heart attack or stroke are the top two killers in the US. While me may be addressing multiple risk factors, we don’t know how our arteries are doing unless we look at the blood vessels themselves.
A high IMT score indicates arteries are getting stiffer. After targeted intervention and treatment it is now easy to measure if these have been successful as IMT score should improve.
Phone: (970) 278-0900