Adequate intracranial collateral circulation reduces risk of stroke in carotid artery surgery. To evaluate their relative accuracies in assessing intracranial collateral blood flow, we prospec-tively compared transcranial Doppler and continuous-wave Doppler of the cervical carotid arteries combined with compression of the common carotid artery in 28 consecutive patients before carotid endarterectomy. Ten healthy volunteers served as controls. Three patients (11%) were excluded from compression of arteries because of diffuse disease in the common carotid artery. A total of 199 compressions were performed without complications. Lack of a suitable transtemporal window precluded the performance of transcranial Doppler in three patients (12%). The anterior communicating artery was identified in all the normal volunteers and 80% of patients by both methods. The posterior communicating artery was identified by both methods in 16 of 20 attempts in controls. Continuous-wave Doppler identified the posterior communicating artery in 30 of 50 attempts in patients; transcranial Doppler identified the posterior communicating artery in 20 of 44 attempts in patients (p>0.S). Detection of intracranial collaterals correlated with intraoperative carotid artery back pressure measurements in 23 of 25 patients (92%). We conclude that continuous-wave Doppler of the extracranial arteries combined with common carotid artery compression is a safe and easy way to detect intracranial collaterals, with an accuracy equivalent to transcranial Doppler.
- Collateral circulation