Improved Parameterization of the Transcranial Doppler Signal

  • Arjen Schaafsma
    Address correspondence to: Arjen Schaafsma, M.D., Ph.D., Martini Ziekenhuis Groningen, Postbus 30.033, 9700 RM Groningen, The Netherlands.
    Martini Ziekenhuis Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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      The great potential of transcranial Doppler (TCD) as a tool for neuromonitoring is limited by the current parameterization of the signal. This article proposes a set of new parameters that more accurately represents the shape of the waveform and eliminates a number of confounding factors. This set of parameters was tested in 227 patients with ipsilateral carotid artery stenosis and compared with 31 normal subjects recruited at our laboratory. From the TCD waveform, we calculated on a beat-to-beat basis the maximal change in flow velocity at stroke onset (acceleration or acc), the maximal flow velocity during the first 100 ms of systole (sys1) and the maximal flow velocity in the remaining part of systole (sys2). All data were normalized relative to the mean diastolic flow velocity over an interval ranging from 520 till 600 ms after stroke onset ([email protected]). For the group with carotid stenosis compared with the normal controls the average ± SD for acc (20.2 ± 9.5 vs. 20.2 ± 6.7; p = 0.98) and sys1 (1.82 ± 0.38 vs. 1.77 ± 0.56; p = 0.35) did not differ significantly. The average ±SD for sys2 (1.94 ± 0.33 vs. 1.50 ± 0.12; p < 0.001), however, was significantly higher in the group with carotid stenosis than in the group of normal subjects. The difference between sys1 and sys2 (“sys1–sys2”) was lower in the patient group than in controls (−0.12 ± 0.16 vs. 0.27 ± 0.22; p < 0.001). For the acc, there was a significantly higher variance in the group with stenosis than without (p < 0.001). Of the old parameters, the beat-to-beat mean (37.0 ± 13.1 vs. 41.3 ± 15.9; p = 0.17) and the pulsatility index (PI; 1.00 ± 0.26 vs. 0.91 ± 0.23; p = 0.06) were not significantly different between groups. Graphed together the acc and “sys1–sys2” parameters allowed a clear demarcation of both groups whereas in a graph of the old parameters mean and PI both groups overlapped considerably. In conclusion, the proposed set of new parameters not only has theoretical and practical benefits but also has excellent discriminative power in a group of carotid patients compared with normal controls.

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