News Perspectives

Carotid Ultrasound Not Recommended for All

Most adults don't need to be tested for narrowing of the arteries leading to the brain, an expert group says. The new statement is a final guideline from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This expert group provides advice on preventive care to doctors and the government. The new statement focused on narrowing of the carotid arteries. Narrowed arteries can increase the risk of stroke. Ultrasound can detect these deposits. But the task force concluded that adults with only average risk and no symptoms should not routinely get this test. The test sometimes leads to a "false positive" result. This means that it shows a condition that the person does not really have. But the initial test results often lead to more testing and even surgery. These further steps may cause stroke, heart attack or even death.

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