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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 28-41

Transcranial Doppler ultrasound: Physical principles and principal applications in Neurocritical care unit

1 Department of Cardiology, Integrated Diagnostic Cardiology, Second University of Neaples, Monaldi Hospital, Neaples, Italy
2 Department of Cardiology, San Luca Hospital, Vallo della Lucania, Salerno, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Antonello D'Andrea
Via M. Schipa 44, 80122, Naples
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2211-4122.183746

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Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography is a noninvasive ultrasound study, which has been extensively applied on both outpatient and inpatient settings. It involves the use of a low-frequency (≤2 MHz) transducer, placed on the scalp, to insonate the basal cerebral arteries through relatively thin bone windows and to measure the cerebral blood flow velocity and its alteration in many different conditions. In neurointensive care setting, TCD is useful for both adults and children for day-to-day bedside assessment of critical conditions including vasospasm in subarachnoid hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, acute ischemic stroke, and brain stem death. It also allows to investigate the cerebrovascular autoregulation in setting of carotid disease and syncope. In this review, we will describe physical principles underlying TCD, flow indices most frequently used in clinical practice and critical care applications in Neurocritical Unit care.

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