Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Transcranial Doppler

  • Ross ZafonteEmail author
  • Brad Kurowski
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_77


TCD; Transcranial Doppler ultrasound


A technique used to evaluate the hemodynamic activity of intracranial vessels using Doppler ultrasound technology.

Current Knowledge

Doppler ultrasound uses the concept of sonar technology; it evaluates the ability of structures to transmit or impede sonic waves. Specifically with transcranial Doppler (TCD), a low-frequency transducer is placed on the scalp and projects a sonic wave into the skull that is then reflected back to the transducer, which also acts as the receiver. TCD is commonly used to record blood flow velocities in the anterior, middle, and posterior cerebral arteries. It has several advantages compared to other neuroimaging techniques. It is noninvasive, uses no ionizing radiation, is inexpensive, and is portable. TCD is applied in neurocritical care settings in multiple capacities, including assessment of vasospastic reactions, cerebral hemodynamic changes, and intracranial pressure for a range of clinical...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. D’Andrea, A., Conte, M., Cavallaro, M., Scarafile, R., Riegler, L., Cocchia, R., et al. (2016). Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography: From methodology to major clinical applications. World Journal of Cardiology, 8(7), 383–400.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Grossman, R., & Yousem, D. (2003). Neuroradiology: The requisites (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Mosby.Google Scholar
  3. LaRovere, K. L., & O’Brien, N. F. (2015). Transcranial Doppler sonography in pediatric neurocritical care: A review of clinical applications and case illustrations in the pediatric intensive care unit. Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, 34(12), 2121–2132.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Lohmann, H., Ringelstein, E. B., & Knecht, S. (2006). Functional transcranial Doppler sonography. Frontiers of Neurology and Neurosciences, 21, 251–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ricker, J. (2005). Functional neuroimaging in medical rehabilitation populations, Chapter 9. In J. DeLisa, B. Gans, & N. Walsh (Eds.), Physical medicine and rehabilitation (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  6. Sharma, V., Tsivgoulis, G., Lau, A., & Alexandrov, A. (2007). Role of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography in evaluation of patients with cerebrovascular disease. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports, 7, 8–20.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationSpaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolCincinnatiUSA