Document Detail

Transcranial Doppler for brain death in infants: the role of the fontanelles.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20173326     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Transcranial Doppler (TCD) is a sensitive technique for circulatory arrest diagnosis in brain death when patterns such as reverberant flow and short systolic spikes are observed. In infants, the nonossified fontanelles compensate for intracranial hypertension. We describe TCD patterns in infants with brain death, different from adults, with the hemodynamic modifications induced by anterior fontanelle compression. METHOD: TCD was performed in 2 infants with diagnosed brain death admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. RESULTS: TCD showed a large peak 'reverberant' flow, with a high peak systolic velocity and a consistent retrograde component, away from the brain. Compression of the anterior fontanelle induced, at first, a reduction in systolic flow with the subsequent appearance of the characteristic short systolic spikes. Upon compression removal, a brief increase in the systolic flow was observed before the prompt reappearance of the reverberant flow. CONCLUSION: TCD for brain death diagnosis should be done cautiously in infants. In these cases, reverberating flow may be indicative of circulatory arrest even if with a large peak and with a high peak systolic velocity. Heavy fontanelle compression may reproduce the classical adult TCD patterns of brain death, thus supporting the diagnosis of cerebral circulatory arrest.
E Vicenzini; P Pulitano; R Cicchetti; F Randi; P Papov; G Spadetta; G Sirimarco; M C Ricciardi; V Di Piero; G L Lenzi; O Mecarelli
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article     Date:  2010-02-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  European neurology     Volume:  63     ISSN:  1421-9913     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur. Neurol.     Publication Date:  2010  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-03-19     Completed Date:  2010-06-14     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150760     Medline TA:  Eur Neurol     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  164-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Department of Neurological Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Brain Death / diagnosis*,  physiopathology
Brain Neoplasms / complications,  diagnosis*,  physiopathology
Cerebrovascular Circulation
Cranial Fontanelles / physiopathology*
Glioma / complications,  diagnosis*,  physiopathology
Shaken Baby Syndrome / complications,  diagnosis,  physiopathology
Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial*

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