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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 13;8(11):e79410. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079410. eCollection 2013.

Evaluation of the combined application of ultrasound imaging techniques for middle cerebral artery stent surveillance and follow-up study.

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Department of Ultrasound Diagnostics, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.



In recent years, cerebral artery stenting has become an effective method for the treatment of cerebral artery stenosis. However, methods for assessing efficacy and techniques for follow-up imaging still need to be developed. This study was designed to evaluate the application of transcranial color-coded sonography (TCCS) in assessing stenting of middle cerebral artery (MCA) stenosis. And, two new imaging techniques (vascular enhancement technology (VET) and 3-dimensional (3D) imaging) were tried out and evaluated.


We enrolled 43 patients with cerebral artery stenosis for vascular stent implantation. All patients were examined by ultrasonography and confirmed through digital subtraction angiography. The stenosis was imaged and blood flow parameters were analyzed before and after the procedure using TCCS. VET and 3D imaging model were used in part of the patients. Important postoperative hemodynamic changes were noted.


1) Adequate stent image was present in 41 out of 43 patients as detected by postoperative 2-dimensional imaging. Images lacking clarity were obtained in 2 patients. 2) The perioperative and postoperative (one week follow-up) instantaneous blood flow velocity at the site of stenosis was significantly decreased (P<0.05) when compared with preoperative levels. Differences between postoperative (one week follow-up) and preoperative blood flow velocity were significant (P<0.05). Differences in blood flow velocity at long-term follow-up (six months and two years) compared to one-week values were not statistically significant (P>0.05). 3) VET imaging visualizes the MCA lumen and stent morphology clearly. 3D ultrasound can be used for imaging of the stent shape as well as its inner surface.


TCCD can be considered a quick and effective clinical detection method to evaluate the intracranial arterial hemodynamics changes before and after stenting treatment for MCA stenosis. New imaging technologies 3D and VET can achieve additional image information.

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