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Transcranial Doppler test- is it as painful as it sounds?

Transcranial Doppler test- is it as painful as it sounds?

Every day technology seems to be taking the medical field by storm. As such, you need to stay up to date with the latest additions of technology in the health industry. Imagine feeling neck stiffness, loss of balance, inability to coordinate your movements, chest pains, limb aches, and problems with your visions. Upon visiting the doctor, they recommend that you undergo a transcranial doppler ultrasound test because they suspect you may have vasospasm or sickle cell anemia.

Where would you start? Perhaps you have never heard of a transcranial doppler and you assume it’s some painful procedure that involves hours of surgery. You are too terrified thinking about the test, that you forget to ask for more details from the doctor.

Well, you have stumbled upon the best site that can tell you everything you need to know about the transcranial doppler test. Let’s have a deeper look at the test.

What is a transcranial doppler test?

The transcranial doppler test (TCD) is a painless and non-invasive ultra sound test. It involves the use of sound waves to examine the flow of blood in and around the brain. This ultrasound procedure is meant to provide real time rapid measures of the cerebrovascular function in the brain.

The TCD test measures the velocity of blood flow in the brain’s basal arteries to evaluate the following:

  • Check for any relative changes in the flow of blood
  • Diagnose any signs of focal vascular stenosis
  • Detect any embolic signals in the basal arteries
  • Evaluate the physiological health of a specific vascular territory
  • Assess any break up of clots within the arteries inside the brain

During the TCD ultra sound test, sound waves are administered to the brain through the skull tissues. The purpose of the sound waves is to reflect off the blood cells moving in the arteries. This in turn allows the neurologist or the radiologist to interpret the direction and speed of the blood cells to check for any irregularities.

Medical conditions that require the TCD ultra sound

In most cases, physicians will recommend the TCD ultrasound test when they suspect something wrong in the blood vessels, which is affecting the flow of blood to the brain. The following conditions will most likely require a transcranial doppler test. They include:

  • Vasospasm that occurs after a raptured aneurysm in the brain
  • Sickle cell anaemia- the test can help determine the risk of stroke in the patient
  • Blockage of the blood vessels, also known as intracranial stenosis
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Presence of a hole in the heart that does not close up after birth, also known as Patent Foramen Ovale
  • Cerebral micro emboli

How to get results after a TCD procedure

Once the neurologist or radiologist carries out the test, they will carefully analyze the images, then send them to your doctor. After this, your doctor will share with you the results of the test.

In some cases, follow up tests are required. So depending on your results, your doctor may order follow up tests to monitor your condition and assess whether the treatment is working.

Now you know enough about the transcranial doppler test. As you have seen, it is completely painless and noninvasive. If your doctor just recommended the test for you, we hope you now have a better idea of what to expect.

Remember to always consult with your doctor if you need more clarification about your health condition.