Detection of microemboli by transcranial Doppler ultrasound

Grosset, D. G. et al. (1996) Detection of microemboli by transcranial Doppler ultrasound. Texas Heart Institute Journal, 23(4), pp. 289-292. (PMID:8969029) (PMCID:PMC325373)

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Doppler ultrasound detection of abnormally high-pitched signals within the arterial waveform offers a new method for diagnosis, and potentially for prediction, of embolic complications in at-risk patients. The nature of Doppler "microembolic" signals is of particular interest in patients with prosthetic heart valves, where a high prevalence of these signals is observed. Monitoring the middle cerebral artery with 2-MHz transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TC-2000, Nicolet Biomedical; Warwick, UK), we looked for microemboli signals in 150 patients (95 women and 55 men), and found 1 or more signals during a 30-min recording in 89% of 70 patients with Bjork-Shiley valves (principally monostrut), 54% of 50 patients with Medtronic-Hall valves, and 50% of 30 patients with Carpentier-Edwards valves (p < 0.001, chi 2). In the patients with Bjork-Shiley valves, the mean number of signals per hour was 59 (range, 42-86; 95% confidence interval), which was significantly higher than the mean in patients with Medtronic-Hall and Carpentier-Edwards valves (1.5[range, 0.5-2.5] and 1 [range, 0-5.3], respectively; both p < 0.04, multiple comparisons. Bonferroni correction). In the patients undergoing serial pre- and postoperative studies, the causative role of the valve implant was emphasized. There was no correlation between the number of emboli signals and a prior history of neurologic deficit, cardiac rhythm, previous cardiac surgery, or the intensity of oral anticoagulation, in patients with prosthetic heart valves. In Bjork-Shiley patients, dual (mitral and aortic) valves were associated with more signals than were single valves. In Medtronic-Hall patients, the signal count was greater for valves in the aortic position than it was for valves in the mitral position. Comparative studies of Doppler emboli signals in other clinical settings suggest a difference in composition or size of the underlying maternal between prosthetic valve patients and patients with carotid stenosis. These studies also suggest that the signals are of gaseous origin in valve patients. The clinical significance of continuing microembolism remains to be determined.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wheatley, Professor David and Grosset, Dr Donald and Lees, Professor Kennedy
Authors: Grosset, D. G., Georgiadis, D., Kelman, A. W., Cowburn, P., Stirling, S., Lees, K. R., Faichney, A., Mallinson, A., Quin, R., Bone, I., Pettigrew, L., Brodie, E., MacKay, T., and Wheatley, D. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Texas Heart Institute Journal
Publisher:Texas Heart Institute
ISSN (Online):1526-6702

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