Carotid Intima Media Thickness Test

Patient Instructions

  • Be prepared to stay for 45 minutes to an hour. The time of your arrival is not the time for your procedure. Arriving earlier does not ensure a shorter wait. The prep time is 15-20 minutes.
  • You may eat and drink as usual. Follow your physician's instructions on what medications to take.
  • Bring a list of all medications you are currently taking including insulin, vitamins and herbal preparations.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • You may wear your eyeglasses, hearing aids and dentures.
  • Please DO NOT bring small children.

What happens during the Carotid
intima-media thickness exam?

Please check in with the registration staff. After the registration process is finished, a staff member will take you to an exam room to get prepared for the procedure. The typical prep includes a vascular risk assessment with questions about your medical history. After your interview is complete, a vascular technologist will help you on to an exam table. The room will feel cool since the temperature is kept low for the equipment. Once you're on the table, you will be covered with a blanket. The vascular technologist will use a small ultrasound transducer and ultrasound gel to make images of both your carotid arteries. Depending on the results of the carotid images, the technologist may then image your femoral arteries in your legs and your aorta in your abdomen. You may experience some gentle pressure on both sides of your neck as the images are acquired. The typical exam takes about 45 minutes.

What about the results of my
Carotid intima-media thickness exam?

When the procedure is finished, you will be free to leave. The exam will be reviewed and interpreted by a physician. A signed final report mailed to you or reviewed during your follow up visit with the nurse practitioner. You are encouraged to share the information from the screening with your primary care physician.

We hope this information has given you an understanding of what to expect. For more information, please call your physician's office. Thank you for choosing Piedmont Augusta. We strive to give excellent service and hope we meet your expectations. Please let us know what we can do for you.