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Transcranial Doppler (TCD) Ultrasonography

The Cutting Edge in Diagnosis and treatment of Stroke (Paralysis)


Stroke is a condition where the blood supply to a part of the human brain is either Interrupted or blood clots outside blood vessels due to hemorrhage.


Stands for Transcranial Doppler. It is a form of ultrasonography and is used in the diagnosis of Stroke along with the CT Scanner, MRI and MRA.

It is a test that meas-ures the velocity of blood flow through the brain`s blood vessels. It is used for the diagnosis of stroke, emboli, stenosis, vasospasm from a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage and bleeding from a ruptured aneurysm. This test is relatively quick and can be done at the patient’s bed-side unlike CT Scan & MRI, where the patient is taken to the imaging department.


TCD can be done at the bedside, is non-invasive and gives ‘real time’ (means instant) imaging of the blood vessels of the brain.

When done?

It is usually done to diagnose the following conditions:

  • Acute Stroke Diagnosis and therapeutics
  • Cerebral Emboli
  • Monitoring Vasospasm in Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Diagnosis of PFO
  • Cerebral Circulatory Arrest
  • Cerebral Vasomotor reactivity
  • Intracranial Stenosis

Thrombolysis is a type of treatment given in stroke where clots in blood vessels are dis-solved by medicines. Use of ultrasound enhances the effect of thrombolysis. Hence thrombolysis is combined with TCD Ultrasonography to get better results in cases of stroke.

A preventive diagnostic test for blood vessels of Brain

Dr Arvind Sharma MD, DM (Neurology) PGI-Chandigarh. Stroke Fellow, University of Alberta, Canada