Frequently Asked Questions
available if you have further questions or concerns.
Everything You Need to Know
Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque (fatty deposits) in your arteries. Plaque deposits are made up of oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin (a clotting material in the blood).
As plaque builds up, the wall of the arteries thicken. This narrows the channel of the artery (the lumen) and reduces blood flow. Therefore, this narrowing decreases the amount of oxygen and other vital nutrients reaching the cells “downstream.”
If plaque buildup causes the walls of the arteries expand outwards by more than 40 percent, the plaque starts to ooze out of the arterial walls and into the lumen.
If that plaque breaks off, it can cause a heart attack, stroke, or a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) — all of which can cause severe consequences for you and your health — the most severe of which is sudden death.
Plaque is composed of oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin (a clotting material in the blood). Plaque can be soft (no calcium or fibrin), mixed (some calcium and fibrin), or hard (fully calcified and stable). Soft plaque is the type of plaque that is most likely to kill you.
Plaque clogs arteries and reduces blood flow. If the buildup of plaque narrows the arterial lumen (the channel through which the blood flows) serious problems can occur.
For example, plaque that narrows an artery may lead to a blood clot (thrombus) that sticks to the blood vessel’s inner wall. If a piece of plaque breaks off, it will be carried by the bloodstream until it gets stuck, where it blocks the blood flow.
If the blocked artery supplies the heart, a heart attack occurs. If the blocked artery supplies blood to the brain, a stroke occurs.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- High total cholesterol
- High LDL cholesterol
- Family history of heart disease
- Living with unmanageable stress
- Living or working in a contaminated and/or toxic environment
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol consumption
No. A C-IMT ultrasound scan is completely painless. It’s like having someone moving their finger up and down your neck.
$150 (It’s much more expensive at hospitals and imaging centers.)
Not currently, but we’re working on it. We do, however, have a Superbill form that you can you use towards your deductible.
No. There are no dietary restrictions before or after a C-IMT ultrasound scan.
Minimal. There is NO ionizing radiation like you would have with an X-ray, PET, or CT scan.
It usually takes 4-5 business days before you or your doctor has your report.
This ultrasound scan will identify the presence or absence of plaque in the lumen of your carotid arteries and inside the muscular walls of these arteries. This scan will also show you the kind of plaque you have (hard, mixed, or soft) and how much. 90-95% of the time, the results of scanning your carotid arteries apply equally to all your other arteries, including the coronary arteries of your heart.
In about 95% of cases, arterial plaque is reversible, sometimes completely.