Diagnostic criteria and yield of real-time transcranial doppler monitoring of intra-arterial reperfusion procedures

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE-: Intra-arterial (IA) rescue procedures are increasingly used to treat acute ischemic stroke. We implemented continuous transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitoring during these procedures to detect any potentially harmful flow changes. Here, we report diagnostic criteria and yield of TCD monitoring. METHODS-: We studied consecutive acute stroke patients who underwent IA reperfusion procedures. TCD flow signatures during these procedures were analyzed and any abnormal findings were documented. RESULTS-: Patients were included only if there was successful insonation through the skull; of 56 eligible patients, 51 were included. IA procedures included IA tissue plasminogen activator, use of the Merci retriever, the Penumbra system, balloon angioplasty, and stenting. On TCD monitoring, contrast injections produced high-intensity signals and increased the mean flow velocity (MFV). Deployment of the Merci device appeared as high-intensity, short-duration signals with a transient MFV decrease of 11.5%. The Penumbra system produced lower-intensity signals with a greater transient decrease in MFV during aspiration. IA tissue plasminogen activator significantly increased MFV by 7.5% over Merci and Penumbra flow velocity changes. Power motion Doppler-TCD detected reocclusion in 13 patients, artery-to-artery embolization in 2 patients, air embolism in 2 patients, and hyperperfusion in 6 patients. Overall, the yield of TCD monitoring was positive in 23 (49%) patients who received IA reperfusion procedures. CONCLUSIONS-: Our velocity, intensity, and flow signatures criteria for TCD monitoring of IA reperfusion procedures detect reocclusion, hyperperfusion, or thromboembolism and air embolism in nearly half of all procedures. This hemodynamic information can be particularly helpful when neurological assessment is limited or delayed. © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Stroke  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rubiera M; Cava L; Tsivgoulis G; Patterson DE; Zhao L; Zhang Y; Anderson AM; Robinson A; Harrigan MR; Underwood E
  • Start Page

  • 695
  • End Page

  • 699
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 4