Noninvasive angiography for the diagnosis of vertebral artery disease using Doppler ultrasound (vertebral artery Doppler).
A transoral noninvasive procedure in the oropharynx using local anesthesia was applied to detect flow in the vertebral arteries with a bidirectional continuous-wave Doppler ultrasound system. Common carotid artery compression was used to identify the vertebral artery. Flow direction, amplitude of flow signals, diastolic flow, and reaction of flow on common carotid artery compression served as diagnostic parameters. The procedure was applied in 90 patients of whom 42 underwent angiography. The method has proved to be 82% accurate. It was most reliable in the diagnosis of occlusion or aplasia, subclavian steal and normalcy, and was less reliable in the detection of stenosis or hypoplasia of a vertebral artery. Eleven patients with subclavin steal, five patients with a missing vertebral artery three patients with hypoplasia or stenosis, and 15 patients with normal angiorgraphical findings were correctly diagnosed by Doppler; normal Doppler findings were present in three patients with a mission or stenosed vertebral artery. Those patients (five) with Doppler indications of subclavian steal (one patient), missing vertebral artery (two patients), or stenosis (two patients) had normal angiograms. Application of the Doppler procedure, after 11 subclavin endarterectomies, informed the surgeon immediately about the hemodynamic effect of surgical intervention. Rethrombosis was diagnosed in two patients by postoperative Doppler examination.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association