Assessment of intracranial hemodynamics in carotid artery disease by transcranial Doppler ultrasound

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  • 1 Departments of Neurosurgery and Radiology (Neuroradiology Section), Rikshospitalet, The National Hospital, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; and Departments of Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
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✓ Noninvasive transcranial Doppler recordings were correlated to the angiographic findings in 77 patients with carotid artery disease. Stenoses reducing the luminal area of the internal carotid artery by 75% or more also reduced the pulsatility transmission index (PTI) of the ipsilateral middle cerebral artery (MCA). The PTI is the pulsatility index of the artery under study expressed as a percent of the pulsatility index of another intracranial artery with presumed unimpeded inflow in the same individual. For stenoses in the 75% to 89% category, PTI reduction was significantly greater in patients with bilateral carotid stenosis, indicating an impaired potential for collateral flow in these patients. The PTI reduction probably reflects both the pressure drop across the stenosis and the cerebral autoregulatory response. Two criteria proved useful in demonstrating collateral MCA supply through the circle of Willis. On the recipient side, retrograde flow in the proximal anterior cerebral artery was demonstrated in 29 of the 31 patients when this flow pattern was disclosed angiographically. In 26 of these patients, the anterior cerebral artery on the supplying side also had clearly increased flow velocity. Increased flow velocities in the proximal posterior cerebral artery were present in 26 of the 30 vessels that were acting as a collateral channel to the ipsilateral MCA.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Karl-Fredrik Lindegaard, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Rikshospitalet, The National Hospital, Pilestredet 32, N-0027 Oslo 1, Norway.
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