A carotid artery scan can diagnose blockage or narrowing of the carotid arteries of the neck and/or the branches of the carotid artery. Plaque build up, blood clots, calcium deposits and other substances in the blood stream may cause an interruption in the blood flow through the carotid arteries.
Once the calcium score is determined, the rest of the exam continues, and a contrast dye is injected into an IV. The contrast dye travels through the blood vessels and enhances images of the heart, making them more visible on the CT scan. The exam provides your doctor with information about cardiac risks and a detailed picture of coronary artery plaques to help in the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease.
Carotid artery scan angiography can help your physician to decide if your health care related issues can be managed with drug therapy, diet and exercise of if you need to be referred for cardiac catheterization for angioplasty and stenting.