National Coverage Determination (NCD)

Noninvasive Tests of Carotid Function


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Tracking Information

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Manual Section Number
Manual Section Title
Noninvasive Tests of Carotid Function
Version Number
Effective Date of this Version

Description Information

Benefit Category
Diagnostic Tests (other)

Please Note: This may not be an exhaustive list of all applicable Medicare benefit categories for this item or service.

Item/Service Description

Noninvasive tests of carotid function aid physicians in studying and diagnosing carotid disease. There are varieties of these tests which measure various anatomical and physiological aspects of carotid function, including pressure (systolic, diastolic, and pulse), flow, collateral circulation, and turbulence.

For operational purposes, it is useful to classify noninvasive tests of carotid function into direct and indirect tests. The direct tests examine the anatomy and physiology of the carotid artery, while the indirect tests examine hemodynamic changes in the distal beds of the carotid artery (the orbital and cerebral circulations).

Indications and Limitations of Coverage

It is important to note that the names of these tests are not standardized. Following are some of the acceptable tests, recognizing that this list is not inclusive and that local medical consultants should make determinations:

Direct Tests

  • Carotid Phonoangiography
  • Direct Bruit Analysis
  • Spectral Bruit Analysis
  • Doppler Flow Velocity
  • Ultrasound Imaging including Real Time
  • B-Scan and Doppler Devices

Indirect Tests

  • Periorbital Directional Doppler Ultrasonography
  • Oculoplethysmography
  • Ophthalmodynamometry

Additional Information

Other Versions
Title Version Effective Between
Noninvasive Tests of Carotid Function 1 11/15/1980 - N/A You are here