Carotid Intima Media Thickness (C-IMT Screening)
C-IMT Screening provides early detection of risk for heart attack or stroke. The screening measures the thickness of the carotid artery wall. The carotid artery is a large artery that carries blood from the heart to the brain. Thickness or inflammation of the wall around the artery is an early indicator of narrowing, which can affect all vessels including the coronary arteries and aorta.
Early detection helps you and your provider create a plan for early intervention that can help reduce your overall risk, such as close monitoring and lifestyle changes.
What You Need To Know
Candidates for C-IMT Screening include men and women age 45 and older with one or more of the following risk factors:
- Family history of arterial disease (stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm or heart disease)
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Alcohol consumption
- The exam is performed with ultrasound equipment using high-frequency sound waves. There is no radiation involved.
- This exam requires a doctor’s referral.
- The screening is not usually covered by insurance.
- Call your local center for more information.
What To Expect
- We’ll call you prior to your appointment to discuss specific preparation instructions; medications you are taking, potential risks and past imaging exams. If instructed, please bring previous studies to the appointment, including ultrasound, mammography or MRI.
- Be sure to notify a member of our staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you could be pregnant.
- Please arrive 15 minutes early to verify your registration.
- During the exam, you will lie on your back on a cushioned table.
- Gel will be applied to your skin. The gel acts as a conductor.
- A transducer, a hand-held device that sends and receives ultrasound signals, will be moved over your abdominal aorta.
- Images will be instantly captured on a monitor and will be sent to a radiologist for review.
- Once your exam is complete, you do not need to check out with the front desk when you leave.
- After the exam, your images will be sent electronically to a radiologist who will review the information. We will ask for your doctor’s name in order to send a copy of the results in the event that follow-up care is needed. A report will be sent to your provider, typically within one to two business days.
- You should follow up with your referring provider to discuss your results.