Dr. Darren F.X. Clair, medical director of Vibrance Health Services, demonstrates the Heart Smart IMT Plus carotid artery ultrasound, a non-invasive procedure that provides early detection of heart disease.
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Carotid Artery Ultrasound for Early Detection of Heart Disease Travis: But there is and quick task they could help you from becoming a medical statistic. Dr. Darren Clair is here with his patient Brigita and his technician Don to use a non-invasive state-of-the-art diagnostic tool. Welcome to you all. Dr. Darren Clair: Thank you! Don: Thank you! Travis: And what we’re going to do here is we’re going to be doing an ultrasound of the carotid artery. The carotid artery is on both sides of the neck, a very important artery because it supplies blood to your brain. What we’re going to talk about is ultrasound because ultrasound of the carotid artery can measure intima and media thickness as well as for plaque. Those can believe it or not, be an early sign of atherosclerosis which is hardening of your arteries which believe it or not, if you see it up here in your neck in your carotid arteries, it can also exist in the arteries that supplies your heart muscles, pretty risk for heart disease. Dr. Clair, ultrasound’s been around for a long time. So, what’s unique about this technology? Dr. Darren Clair: This test which is Heart Smart IMT plus with DiVo Technology in it. Just by doing this test in my office, which is safe quick, you know totally painless. I can know with a 95 percent certainty if you have any plaque building up in your heart, what type it is and how severe it is. Travis: So Don, why don’t you start imaging Brigita’s carotid artery and we’ll look at some images in. So, you’re going to hear the phrase IMT, that’s intima media thickness. It’s basically the thickness of the arterial wall. You don’t want it to be too thick because that can be a sign of your increased risk for stroke, heart attack, and etcetera. So right now, we’re working to get the image of her carotid artery. And walk us through what we’re seeing Dr. Clair. Dr. Darren Clair: Okay, love to Travis. Right here, you’re seeing the carotid artery. We’re looking sort of through the side of a straw. You can see the intima. This fine white line right there, which again is the intima media is where the thickening occurs which leads to atherosclerosis and in certain people leads to plaque formation. Travis: And the intima media are literally, that’s what makes up your arterial wall. Now, we have some images of good arteries versus unhealthy arteries. Show us what we’re looking at. Dr. Darren Clair: Okay great! This right here is a healthy artery. The intima media is right here as this inner fine white line. That’s what we’re measuring. That’s where the correlation is. You can see this is a little thick but very significantly we’re at the red circle is. This person not only has thickening but also have a big, nasty plaque, sticking into the lumen of the artery. Travis: And so what people looking out there is plaque in the carotid artery which if it breaks off, it can actually go up to your brain and caused a stroke there as well. So, one of the things that you’ve done is you’ve taken images from Brigita and you’ve actually mapped them out to give a letter grade. A is good, E is bad and if you’re in between there, you have to ask some concerns. Walk us through this chart. Dr. Darren Clair: Okay yeah. The way I like to think about it is just like your report card from school, okay? A is great, E, I say go to the emergency room, okay? Travis: And Brigita’s was normal right? Dr. Darren Clair: Brigita’s is totally normal. Travis: And secondly we measured the plaque character. Dr. Darren Clair: Yeah, because not of this not only these different type of plaques. There’s this soft plaque and a hard plaque. A lot of cardiologist will now tell you that the soft plaque which this test will pick up is actually more dangerous because it’s vulnerable. And by that we mean that it means more likely to rupture causing the problems that we were just talking about. Travis: And Brigita, you were an A once again on the report card. None observed, none, no plaques. And, finally percent st

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