Transcranial Doppler and Emboli Monitoring

Emboli can cause a range of disrupting and even life-threatening conditions, but their presence is not easily detected by standard imaging techniques. Transcranial Doppler (TCD) is the only modality that is able to identify and quantify the presence of emboli in real time. TCD can be used in pre-, peri-, and post-operative settings to get accurate data on a patient’s condition and make necessary adjustments to improve outcomes. 

TCD Offers Clarity Where Other Methods Can’t

TCD detects microembolic signals (MESs), which do not often produce any immediate symptoms. Other traditional imaging techniques can only go so far in revealing the potential dangers of emboli. According to Stroke Research and Treatment, “MESs in cerebral circulation indicate asymptomatic patients with increased stroke risk. Imaging techniques (CT scan, MRI, DWI-MRI) can show ‘silent’ areas of cerebral ischemia. These small and multiple areas of acute or subacute brain infarction may occasionally present with clinical features atypical for brain embolism or will not produce any apparent symptoms.” 

In contrast, TCD can provide a quantitative description of embolic processes, their magnitude and course, offering clear indications of the patient’s condition and how the proper treatment can be applied. This removes the guesswork and does not allow a crisis to “silently” develop in patients who are asymptomatic. 

TCD Can Help Reduce the Risk of Stroke

In the case of Carotid Endarterectomies (CEA), “microembolic signals detected by TCD significantly relate to adverse outcomes,” according to Relias Media. Surgeons with MES data can make modifications in real time to help prevent these outcomes. With continued TCD postoperative monitoring, emboli detected after surgery can be resolved through the use of anticoagulation with heparinoids or antiplatelet agents.

Because it’s the only available method to continuously assess changes in cerebral hemodynamics through the right and left middle cerebral artery — which carries up to 70% blood in each hemisphere — TCD provides powerful data through every stage of a patient’s treatment that decreases the risk of harmful complications. 

How to Get TCD Services at Your Hospital

TCD is a safe, noninvasive neurodiagnostic service that can offer improved outcomes for a variety of surgical procedures and cardio-thoracic conditions. SpecialtyCare can place TCD specialists at your hospital to assist your OR with diagnostics and patient monitoring. From newborn babies to adults, our neurosonographers provide round-the-clock care for patients in a diverse range of settings, including the operating room, intensive care units, epilepsy monitoring units, emergency rooms, and outpatient clinics. Contact us today to learn more!