Duplex scanning of neck vessels: Need for extending the consensus on indications

G. Rodriguez, M. Delmonte, P. Vitali, C. Bordoni, C. Barone, F. Nobili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We studied the percentage and distribution of appropriate indications for duplex scanning of neck vessels in an outpatient population. A total of 650 consecutive outpatients sent by their general practitioner (GP) or a specialist for duplex scanning of epi-aortic arterial vessels were studied. The aim was to verify the percentage of appropriate (APR) and inappropriate (INAPR) indications for the examination, according to the current literature. After analysis of indications as reported by GPs or specialists and a brief anamnestic examination, 77% of patients were found to have had one or more APR and 23% of patients had none. Analysis of severity of atheromasic lesions between the two groups showed that patients with APR had significantly (p60%) stenosis while 6.4% of patients with APR had severe stenosis. Moreover, the percentage of normal examinations or intima-media thickness only was 32.5% in patients with INAPR but fell to 17.2% in patients with APR. In the entire group, women were more represented than men even after consideration of the natural prevalence of female gender in the local population. Among inappropriate indications for the examination, isolated dizzness or vertigo, syncope and tinnitus were the most frequent. Continuous medical education is needed to reduce inappropriate indications and thus to find solutions, although partial, to shorten the waiting lists that have become an urgent problem for the public health systems of several Western countries. However, this appears to be difficult challenge, as experiments conducted on this issue by other researchers only gave transient positive results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-441
Number of pages5
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Carotid atherosclerosis
  • Duplex scanning
  • Indications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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