Transcranial Doppler ultrasound provides a useful adjunct to extracranial ultrasound in the diagnosis of carotid bifurcation disease. Previous studies have shown that collateral flow patterns and diminished flow velocities in the ipsilateral middle cerebral artery correlate with hemodynamically significant carotid disease. In a series of 7,054 carotid duplex and transcranial Doppler examinations, 12 5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 8.7, 16.4) of 287 ophthalmic arteries ipsilateral to an apparent carotid occlusion had no detectable flow signal, compared with 0.5% (95% CI: 0.3, 0.7) of 6,767 ophthalmic arteries ipsilateral to a nonoccluded carotid artery (p <0.001). Carotid siphon signals were not detectable in 24.4% (95% CI: 19.4, 29.4) of arteries ipsilateral to the carotid occlusion, versus 1.0% (95% CI: 0.8, 1.3) ipsilateral to nonoccluded carotid arteries (p <0.001). A significant number of absent ophthalmic artery and carotid siphon signals (5.7 and 8.7%, respectively) were also found in patients with 80 to 99% extracranial carotid stenosis. A subset of 216 studies with angiographic correlation confirmed the high association of these transcranial Doppler findings with severe stenosis or occlusion of the internal carotid artery. Primary ophthalmological disease or siphon occlusion did not explain these findings. An absent ophthalmic artery or carotid siphon signal on transcranial Doppler examination is believed to represent a failure to detect slow flow distal to severe carotid bifurcation lesions. As a sign of ipsilateral carotid occlusion, the sensitivities of absent ophthalmic artery and carotid siphon signals are quite low (12.5 and 24.4%, respectively). The high specificities of 99.5 and 99.0%, however, make these findings useful in confirming the diagnosis of presumptive carotid occlusion by carotid duplex ultrasound.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroimaging|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology