Intracranial carotid artery disease
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary We have investigated 6,587 patients with directional continuous-wave (c-w) Doppler sonography of the carotid arteries during the last 33 months, and have developed criteria for the diagnosis of a significant increase in peripheral resistance of the internal carotid artery in conjunction with 1,671 retrograde brachial and direct carotid angiograms. We distinguished stenoses proximal (15 cases) and distal (4) to the origin of the ophthalmic artery, supraclinoid internal carotid artery occlusions (8), stenoses (2) and acute occlusions (10) of the middle cerebral artery. Stenoses in the carotid siphon (proximal or distal to the origin of the ophthalmic artery) of at least 60% reduction in lumen diameter showed a reduction of the relative end-diastolic flow velocity (modified Pourcelot's index) of more than 40%; additionally, stenoses proximal to the origin of the ophthalmic artery exhibited a variable alternating flow, or flow reversal, in the supratrochlear artery. Stenoses distal to the origin of the ophthalmic artery rarely revealed the theoretically expected increase in orthograde flow velocity in the supratrochlear artery. Stenoses of the middle cerebral artery consisting of more than atherosclerotic irregularities proved to be an exception. Supraclinoid occlusions of the internal carotid artery were reliably demonstrated by Doppler sonography. However, the majority of acute occlusions of the middle cerebral artery could not be detected by this means, probably due to anastomoses between the anterior and the middle cerebral arteries, which were detected by angiography. Thus, we believe that c-w Doppler sonography is a reliable tool to detect stenoses of the carotid siphon of more than 60% reduction in lumen diameter and supraclinoid carotid artery occlusions. Barriers to the cerebral blood flow located more peripherally cannot be diagnosed reliably with this technique.
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