Method Of Exam
Author: A. Chandrasekhar, MD
Consultant: F. Littooy, MD
Palpate one side at a time.
Gently tilt the head to relax the sternomastoid muscle.
Palpate the carotid artery by placing your fingers near the upper neck between the sternomastoid and trachea roughly at the level of cricoid cartilage..
Repeat the procedure on the opposite side.
Palpate simultaneously carotid artery and apical impulse and note the timing between them.
Carotid artery pulsations are symmetrical and have similar characteristics as the radial artery.
Avoid compression of carotid sinus which is located at the level of the top of thyroid cartilage.
Avoid simultaneous palpation of both carotid arteries.