Tests and Treatments Carotid Artery Ultrasound Carotid ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic examination used to evaluate the condition of the major arteries in the neck. These arteries, called the carotid arteries, supply the brain with blood. During the exam, an ultrasound transducer will be placed on an area of the neck over the arteries, producing an image displayed on a video screen. This test will take approximately 30 minutes, and is completely painless. No preparation is necessary for this exam; however, a low-cut, loose fitting shirt or blouse will allow for better access. Take normal medication unless otherwise instructed.