Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 174-179

Transcranial doppler: Technique and common findings (Part 1)

1 Department of Neurology, Narayana Medical College and Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Neurology, GB Pant hospital, Delhi, India
3 Division of Neurology, National University Hospital, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Lokesh Bathala
Department of Neurology, Narayana Medical College and Hospital, Nellore-524001, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.112460

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Transcranial Doppler (TCD) can be aptly called as the doctor's stethoscope of the brain. Since its introduction in 1982, by Rune Aaslid, TCD has evolved as a diagnostic, monitoring, and therapeutic tool. During evaluation of patients with acute ischemic stroke, TCD combined with cervical duplex ultrasonography provides physiological information on the cerebral hemodynamics, which is often complementary to structural imaging. Currently, TCD is the only diagnostic tool that can provide real time information about cerebral hemodynamics and can detect embolization to the cerebral vessels. TCD is a noninvasive, cost-effective, and bedside tool for obtaining information regarding the collateral flow across various branches of the circle of Willis in patients with cerebrovascular disorders. Advanced applications of TCD help in the detection of right-to-left shunts, vasomotor reactivity, diagnosis, and monitoring of vasospasm in subarachnoid hemorrhage and as a supplementary test for confirmation of brain death. This article describes the basic ultrasound physics pertaining to TCD insonation methods, for detecting the flow in intracranial vessels in addition to the normal and abnormal spectral flow patterns.

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