TCD ultrasonography is a noninvasive means to study the cerebral vasculature. By varying the depth and angle of insonation of a pulsed sound wave, the direction and velocity profile of the cerebral arteries can be ascertained. This can be used to identify areas of focal stenosis and increased resistance and to estimate the adequacy of cerebral flow. TCD ultrasonography commonly is used in SAH to detect cerebral vasospasm. Many centers interpret rising velocities as increasing vessel use in head trauma is less clearly defined. TCD ultrasonography is considered an acceptable confirmatory test for the determination of brain death. TCD ultrasonography is capable of studying dynamic cerebrovascular processes. By being able to determine vessel patency, TCD may become a useful adjuvant to thrombolytic therapy. Continuous monitoring of flow velocities and profiles along with testing of cerebrovascular reserve promises to be a future active area of research.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine