The role of transcranial Doppler in confirming brain death: Sensitivity, specificity, and suggestions for performance and interpretation

George W. Petty, J. P. Mohr, T. A. Pedley, T. K. Tatemichi, L. Lennihan, D. I. Duterte, R. L. Sacco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

137 Scopus citations

Abstract

We performed transcranial Doppler (TCD) examinations on 54 comatose patients over a 1-year period. Of 49 patients with technically adequate TCD examinations, 23 met criteria for determination of brain death by clinical and EEG criteria (21) or clinical criteria alone (2; EEG not performed). A TCD waveform abnormality, consisting of absent or reversed diastolic flow, or small early systolic spikes, in at least 2 intracranial arteries, occurred in 21 brain-dead patients, but in none of the other patients in coma. With appropriate guidelines for performance and interpretation, TCD could be incorporated into institutional protocols as a rapid and convenient alternative to EEG for confirmation of brain death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-303
Number of pages4
JournalNeurology
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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