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Transplant Proc. 2010 Jun;42(5):1502-6. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2010.01.074.

The value of transcranial Doppler sonography with a transorbital approach in the confirmation of cerebral circulatory arrest.

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Department of Radiology and Imaging G. Gennimatas General State Hospital, Athens, Greece.



Transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD) provides accurate confirmation of cerebral circulatory arrest (CCA) in brain death (BD), but is not feasible in patients with absent temporal bone windows. We added the transorbital approach in the TCD protocol for the diagnosis of CCA and compared findings with angiography. Furthermore, we evaluated whether reporting the angiographic and sonographic confirmation of CCA to relatives of brain-dead patients improves their comprehension and satisfaction with the medical information.


Eighty-two clinically brain-dead patients underwent 4-vessel angiography, TCD of the basilar and middle cerebral arteries, and transorbital Doppler sonography (TOD) of the internal carotid arteries. Relatives were randomly allocated to 41 in whom BD was presented as a clinical diagnosis (group A) and to 41 in whom BD was presented as a clinical diagnosis confirmed by TCD and angiography (group B). Comprehension and satisfaction of the relatives were assessed using an interview and a questionnaire.


Both angiography and TCD verified CCA in all cases (k = 1). In 11 patients with failure of the transtemporal approach, CCA was confirmed by the transorbital recordings. The addition of TOD enabled 15.5% more cases of CCA to be diagnosed by TCD. Group B exhibited improved comprehension and satisfaction rates (P < .05).


The addition of TOD increases the efficacy of TCD in confirming CCA in BD. Reporting confirmation of CCA to families of brain-dead patients may improve their comprehension and satisfaction with the provided medical information.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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