|Stroke & Blood Vessel Screenings
St. Cloud Hospital Imaging Services offers three screenings to
determine your risk for stroke, peripheral vascular
disease and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
vascular technologists perform the screenings with the
latest technology in a comfortable, private, health care
environment. Qualified doctors interpret the screening
Should I be screened?
Stroke and blood vessel screenings may prevent
disabling and possibly deadly conditions. If you are at
risk for stroke or other vascular disease, you should
consider the screenings -- even if you do not have
symptoms. Our goal is to help you detect hidden health
risks at an earlier stage.
Consider the screenings if you are older than 55 and
have one or more risk factors. These risk factors should
be used as general guidelines and include, but are not
- Family history of arterial disease (stroke,
abdominal aortic aneurysm or heart disease)
- High blood pressure
- Nicotine use
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Lack of exercise and/or obesity
What three screening tests do you offer and
what do they look for?
Stroke / Carotid Artery Screening
Almost half of the people who have strokes have no
prior symptoms. This exam screens the carotid
arteries in the neck for fatty plaque buildup. Plaque
may reduce or totally block the amount of blood
flowing to the brain. Blocked carotid arteries cause
75 to 80 percent of strokes.
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) Screening
PVD causes the arteries that carry blood to the legs
to become narrowed or clogged. It can slow or stop
the flow of blood. Some people call this poor
circulation. PVD is linked to coronary artery disease.
We use an ankle brachial index (ABI) test to
evaluate arterial blood flow going to the legs
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening
This exam screens for a bulging, widening, or
stretching of the aorta. The aorta is the largest arterial blood vessel in the body. The vast majority
of people with AAA have no symptoms. Over time,
the aneurysm may become so large it may eventually
rupture or burst. The death rate for a ruptured aortic
aneurysm is 90 to 95 percent.
How are the screenings performed
and how do I prepare for the test(s)?
We use ultrasound to perform all three screenings.
Diagnostic ultrasound uses high frequency sound
waves to create images of the arteries. The
ultrasound also measures the speed of the blood
flow within the vessels. The ultrasound does not
involve ionizing radiation.
Stroke/Carotid Artery Screening:
- We recommend a button-down or low-collar
shirt. No turtlenecks please.
- The sonographer will apply gel to your neck.
He or she will then move an instrument called
a transducer over the surface of your neck to
evaluate the carotid arteries.
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) Screening:
- Please wear a short sleeve shirt. Do not wear
pantyhose because you will need to remove
your socks and shoes.
- We will place blood pressure cuffs and a
Doppler ultrasound probe on your arms and
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening:
- Fast a minimum of four hours prior to your
screening. Please refrain from eating a heavy,
fatty or greasy meal prior to your four-hour
fast. If you are diabetic, please limit
yourself to a light “diabetic meal” such as a
piece of toast and juice.
- You may take medications as needed.
- We will ask you to lie on a cart and raise your
shirt so we can examine your abdominal aortic
- The sonographer will apply gel to your
abdomen. He or she will then move an
instrument called a transducer over the surface
of your abdomen to evaluate the aorta.
How long does each screening take?
Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your screening
to register. Each test takes approximately
What does each screening cost?
Each screening costs $40. You may pay by cash or
check. We can not accept credit cards at this time.
Insurance will not cover these screening exams.
When will I receive results?
We will mail your results to you within three
working days. Please consult with your primary care
doctor about your screening results.
How can I register for a screening exam?
For weekday appointments, please call Imaging
Services at CentraCare Health Plaza at
You do not need a doctor’s referral for these
1406 Sixth Avenue North
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Services at CentraCare Health Plaza: (320) 229-4986