, Volume 243, Issue 7, pp 516-521

Diagnostic criteria for transcranial colour-coded duplex sonography evaluation of cross-flow through the circle of Willis in unilateral obstructive carotid artery disease

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Abstract

A transcranial colourcoded duplex sonography (TCCD) study was performed to establish reliable criteria for the assessment of collateral flow through the anterior (ACoA) and posterior (PCoA) communicating artery without using compression tests. We studied 86 patients with angiographically evaluated unilateral > 69% stenosis (n = 53) and occlusion (n = 33) of the carotid artery. The following TCCD criteria were evaluated: for diagnosis of cross-flow through the ACoA, detection of reversed flow in the anterior cerebral artery (ACA) on the obstructed (ipsilateral) side. For the diagnosis of cross-flow through the PCoA: (A) identification of the PCoA; (B) peak systolic velocity in P1 posterior cerebral artery (PCA) higher than the mean value + 2 SD of normals; (C) ratio of ipsilateral peak systolic P1 PCA velocity to peak systolic P2 PCA velocity higher than the mean ratio + 2 SD of normals; (D) ratio of ipsilateral peak systolic PI PCA velocity to contralateral peak systolic P1 PCA velocity higher than the mean ratio − 2 SD of normals; (E) peak systolic basilar artery velocity higher than the mean value + 2 SD of normals. Eight patients (9%) with inadequate temporal ultrasonic windows were excluded. The sensitivity and specificity for TCCD evaluation of ACoA crossflow were 100%. Using criteria A and B the corresponding values for the PCoA were 85 and 98%, respectively. Criteria C-E were not useful owing to lower sensitivity. In conclusion, we delineated TCCD criteria that make it possible to assess reliably the cross-flow through the circle of Willis in patients with adequate ultrasonic windows.