Evaluation of the vertebrobasilar-posterior system by transcranial color duplex sonography in adults.
The transcranial color duplex sonography technique was applied to the vertebrobasilar-posterior system to provide normal data for clinical application.
The intracranial posterior circulation was studied in 49 healthy volunteers (mean +/- SD age, 35 +/- 12 years) by a transcranial and suboccipital approach with a 2.0-MHz sector transducer of a computed sonography system.
The posterior cerebral artery and the vertebrobasilar system were depicted clearly in the color Doppler mode. Pulsed Doppler signals could be recorded in the posterior cerebral (100%), basilar (92%), and vertebral arteries (89%). The following normal values were provided for all vessels: systolic peak, end-diastolic maximum, time-averaged, and time-averaged maximum velocities; resistance and pulsatility indexes; and a spectral broadening index. Mean +/- SD values were 45.9 +/- 9.6, 45.5 +/- 10.8, and 39.2 +/- 10.6 cm/sec for time-averaged maximum velocity, and 28.3 +/- 6.5, 30.6 +/- 7.2, and 24.7 +/- 8.4 cm/sec for time-averaged velocity in the posterior cerebral, basilar, and vertebral arteries, respectively. In a reproducibility study, duplex measurements of the posterior cerebral arteries were repeated in 27 subjects. The correlation between the two examiners was high (r = 0.56, p less than or equal to 0.0001 for time-averaged maximum velocity).
Color duplex sonography of the vertebrobasilar-posterior system is a new, noninvasive, bedside investigative technique. It permits visualization of artery flow in real time, relating these to adjacent brain and cranial structures, as well as angle-corrected duplex measurement of "true" flow velocities at defined sites of the vessels. Thus, it will open new diagnostic possibilities in disorders of the posterior circulation.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association