Transcranial Doppler ultrasound: A new method of monitoring hemispheric anesthetization during the intracarotid amobarbital procedure

Vinita J. Acharya, Jayant N. Acharya, Charles H. Tegeler, Pearse Morris, Dana Meads, Cormac A. O'Donovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background. Electroencephalography (EEG) is traditionally used to assess the duration of hemispheric anesthetization and to monitor return of function in the anesthetized hemisphere during the intracarotid amobarbital procedure (IAP), but EEG changes are not consistently seen. The authors evaluated the role of continuous transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitoring as an alternative to EEG. Methods. The authors performed both continuous TCD monitoring and EEG during the IAP in 10 patients with medically intractable partial epilepsy. Mean velocities were monitored continuously in both middle cerebral arteries (MCAs), and changes in MCA velocities on continuous TCD monitoring were time locked with the EEG changes. Results. The average mean MCA velocities were within normal limits bilaterally (50-85 cm/s) in all patients at baseline. Mean MCA velocities increased in all patients to 95-115 cm/s at the start of the test when the patients were asked to raise their hands and start counting. After injection of sodium amobarbital, mean MCA velocities in all patients dropped dramatically on the ipsilateral side to values of 12-39 cm/s and returned to the baseline average value when the hemiparesis recovered. In 8 patients, the duration of delta activity on EEG coincided with the time interval during which the mean MCA velocities were low on TCD monitoring. In 2 patients, despite the presence of hemiparesis clinically and a drop in mean MCA velocities on the ipsilateral side on continuous TCD monitoring, EEG remained normal on the ipsilateral side. Conclusions. Continuous TCD monitoring may be a more sensitive method than EEG in determining the duration of hemispheric anesthetization during IAP. Because the items for assessment of memory are presented during the period of hemispheric anesthetization, TCD may be useful in more precisely defining the time window for memory testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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