Brain embolism monitoring with transcranial Doppler ultrasound

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Opinion statement

Embolism is considered to be the main mechanism leading to brain infarction today; with the introduction of sophisticated neuroimaging tools, its impact is increasingly appreciated. Transcranial Doppler ultrasound allows noninvasive monitoring of in vivo embolism. Acute stroke, internal carotid artery stenosis, several cardiac conditions, internal carotid endarterectomy, and coronary artery bypass graft surgery have been extensively monitored. These investigations and other clinical and neuroimaging studies have expanded the understanding of brain embolism; they suggest it may be appropriate to think of it as a process that occurs in the context of other hemodynamic factors. Differences have been identified among several conditions regarding the temporal profile of embolism and the characteristics of embolic particles. This article presents a brief review of brain embolism monitoring with transcranial Doppler ultrasound.