Transcranial Doppler Ultrasonography in Intensive Care

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Abstract

Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography is a reproducible, affordable, noninvasive tool for studying cerebral hemodynamics at the bedside in intensive care units. Although it is not the gold standard for cerebral blood flow measurements, TCD ultrasonography gives reliable information regarding indirect indexes of cerebral hemodynamics. Common applications in intensive care units are well represented by recording the onset and course of cerebral vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage, as well as by monitoring the hemodynamic effects of increasing intracranial pressure secondary to severe brain injury. By applying strictly defined criteria, TCD ultrasonography is an additional tool for the assessment of brain death.