Transcranial ultrasound from diagnosis to early stroke treatment. 1. Feasibility of prehospital cerebrovascular assessment

Cerebrovasc Dis. 2008;26(6):659-63. doi: 10.1159/000166844. Epub 2008 Nov 4.


Background: To test whether portable duplex ultrasound devices can be used in a prehospital '911' emergency situation to assess intracranial arteries.

Methods: Non-contrast-enhanced transcranial duplex ultrasound studies were performed either immediately at the site of the emergency (i.e. private home) or after transfer into the emergency helicopter/ambulance vehicle.

Results: A total of 25 patients were enrolled. In 5/25 cases, intracranial vessels could not be visualized due to insufficient quality of the temporal bone window. In 20/25 cases, bilateral visualization and Doppler flow measurements of the middle cerebral artery could be assessed in a mean time less than 2 min.

Conclusion: Emergency assessment of intracranial arteries using portable duplex ultrasound devices is feasible shortly after arrival at the patient's site.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Air Ambulances
  • Ambulances
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods*
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Neurology
  • Patient Care Team
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Seizures / diagnosis
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging*
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial*