Benefits of Utilizing Transcranial Doppler (TCD) Services at Your Hospital

Benefits of Utilizing Transcranial Doppler (TCD) Services at Your Hospital

As today’s OR innovations enhance patients’ quality of life and help them live longer, they also require the use of more complex devices, data, and skills. 

This is where neurodiagnostic services are making surgery safer, offering accurate and essential information to help sustain the leading edge of surgical innovation. They can detect problems prior to surgery, reduce the risk of patient injury during procedures, and provide an extra layer of safety through post-operative monitoring.

One high-leverage neurodiagnostic service making its way into modern hospitals is Transcranial Doppler (TCD). What does TCD do, and how is it supporting the OR for better outcomes? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Transcranial Doppler (TCD)?

Transcranial Doppler (TCD) is a form of ultrasound testing that measures the velocity of blood flow in the brain. In fact, it’s the only available method to continuously assess changes in cerebral hemodynamics through the right and left middle cerebral artery (MCA), which carries up to 70% of the blood in each hemisphere.

It’s also the gold standard for detecting and quantitatively evaluating emboli in the brain. This is critical, given that research continues to show a direct correlation between the number of emboli and the rate of stroke and/or cognitive decline after cardio-thoracic surgery.

Its uses are manifold: TCD monitoring can alter operative cannulation, detect mal-perfusion, and identify cerebral hyperperfusion.

Additionally, TCD can provide a telling description of embolic processes, their magnitude, and their course. This helps in regard to individual patient management (for instance, if an air leak needs to be repaired).

How TCD Can Be Used: Pre, Peri, and Post-Op

TCD can be used before, during, and after surgery to inform surgeons and protect patients. With rapid and real-time results, it facilitates the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions affecting the brain following TIAs, embolisms, CVAs, vasospasm, subarachnoid hemorrhages, and Sickle Cell Disease. Monitoring at critical points in the treatment process allows for prompt administration or adjustment of care. 

In the case of a carotid endarterectomy (CEA), for example, perioperative TCD can show which patients would benefit most from shunt insertion. Post-operative TCD can be used to monitor emboli and help reduce the incidence of stroke. By providing valuable data on cerebral hemodynamics, TCD allows clinicians to provide accurate care throughout their treatment and healing process.

How to Offer TCD at Your Hospital

TCD is the most accurate, cost-effective clinical method for the diagnosis of intracranial disease and the effect of extracranial disease on cerebral circulation. SpecialtyCare can help you provide TCD at your hospital, in addition to other neurodiagnostic services your hospital may need. We can complement your in-house team, provide support staff during incremental growth, or guide you through the process of building a program that will help you achieve your long-term goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your OR and help you make surgery safer!