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The significance of carotid ultrasound
As people's living conditions improve and health is paid more and more attention, many people will take the initiative to ask for carotid ultrasound examination. Here, a brief introduction to carotid ultrasound and its significance will give you a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding of this test.
The carotid artery refers to the arterial system located on the left and right sides of the neck. It is divided into the common carotid artery, the internal carotid artery (extracranial segment), and the external carotid artery. The internal carotid artery is the most important because it supplies the left and right cerebral hemispheres 2/3. Blood flow.
The carotid artery wall is composed of the intima, the media, and the outer membrane. Ultrasound examination of the wall thickness refers to the thickness of the intima and media, called Intima Media Thickness (IMT). Studies have shown that IMT increases with age, with an average increase in IMT of 0.1 mm for every 10 years of age. At present, IMT is considered to be <1.0mm normal; 1.0~1.2 mm is endometrial thickening; >1.2 mm suspicious plaque formation. Plaques are divided into: soft spots, flat spots, hard spots, mixed spots. Soft spots, flat spots and mixed spots are all unstable plaques. Once unstable plaques are found, they should be taken seriously, because these plaques are easy to fall off and cause stroke.
Carotid ultrasound examinations include: atherosclerosis, certain vasculitis (such as aortitis), vascular dissection (such as carotid dissection), vascular stenosis, aneurysm, and the like. The most common disease is carotid atherosclerosis, which is a complex process. Simply speaking, lipid deposits on the vessel wall and causes plaque. It is also a pathological aging process of the vessel wall, just like the inner wall of the water pipe is rusty. The wall is thickened the same.
Early carotid atherosclerosis is characterized by thickening of the medial-media thickness. When the medial membrane is thickened to a certain extent, atherosclerotic plaques are formed. Severe plaque or plaque rupture secondary to thrombosis, leading to narrowing of the lumen of the blood vessel. Ultrasound examination can estimate the possibility of stenosis on the bloodstream and downstream according to the flow velocity of the blood flow and the distal impedance. The stenosis rate can also be calculated (the degree of carotid stenosis is divided into <50%, 50~). 69%, 70~99%, 100%), instructing clinicians to treat and choose treatment options.
Atherosclerosis is a disease that is widely affected by systemic arteries. When ultrasound examination reveals carotid intima thickening or plaque formation, it indicates the formation of systemic atherosclerosis. It must be vigilant and interfere with unhealthy lifestyles ( Smoking, obesity, alcoholism, sedentary lack of exercise, uneven diet, etc., to treat the corresponding risk factors (hypertension, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, etc.).
Carotid ultrasound is a non-invasive, non-radiative, easy-to-use, and inexpensive test. For middle-aged people with high risk factors, it is best to check regularly. It can correctly assess the main vascular conditions flowing into the brain. To understand whether the blood vessels have atherosclerotic plaque, stenosis, or even obstruction. It can also predict the risk of heart and cerebrovascular disease, reflect the severity and severity of atherosclerosis, and help people with atherosclerosis, early treatment and evaluation of drug treatment.