Duplex Scan of the Intracranial Vessels
Identification and evaluation of intracranial vascular arterial flow using the available acoustic windows.
Indications for Testing
- Evaluation of suspected intracranial occlusive disease
- Evaluation of hemodynamic consequences of extracranial cerebrovascular disease
- Suspected intracranial arteriovenous malformation/fistula
- Monitoring of patients for vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Evaluation and monitoring of the intracranial circulation in patient with migraine
- Monitoring patients with sickle cell disease
Duplex scanning and Doppler color flow imaging use high frequency sound waves to examine the intracranial vessels using any available acoustic window. The instrument sends sound waves into your body and receives back echoes of this sound. The echoes can be used to create a picture of these vessels and contain information about the speed of blood flow through the arteries. This information is used to determine the presence and severity of disease in these important blood vessels.
The actual test procedure is quite simple and very similar to the carotid duplex. You will be asked several questions about your past medical history and your present symptoms for your permanent, confidential laboratory record. Next you will be asked to lie down on an examination table. The technologist will place a small amount of acoustic gel on the side of your head above your ear, over your closed eyelid and on the back of your neck.. A small hand-held ultrasound transducer will be moved over these areas while sound waves are sent into your arteries…a safe, painless procedure. An image of your arteries, produced by bounding the sound waves off the blood vessel, will be seen on the TV monitor of the ultrasound system. Using the image as a guide, the technologist can record the blood flow patterns from discrete areas of the artery for interpretation.