A carotid ultrasound is simply performed. It is a non-invasive test using sound waves to assess the size and caliber of the carotid and vertebral arteries that supply blood to the brain. It is a very accurate assessment of plaque development in these arteries but more importantly it will detect serious blockage in the carotid arteries that can put you at risk for a stroke. There is minimal discomfort when the test is performed, and the results are known immediately. Serial tests may be performed to follow a non critical blockage in these arteries.