TCD or Transcranial Doppler is an ultrasound that measures the blood flow in the central part of your brain, specifically the Circle of Willis.
You may have heard of a similar test that can measure the blood flow through your carotid arteries called a Carotid Doppler, only the TCD measures a different area of blood flow. This test can be done on any age patient as it is non-invasive and does not require any dye for the test. It is similar to most ultrasounds in that a probe is placed over the area you are testing and it uses sound waves as a measurement.
The reason your doctor would want to have a TCD performed can vary.
The most common reason would be if you have had a stroke or are at risk for a stroke. Since the Carotid Doppler only measures blood flow from the carotid arteries it is not all the information that your doctor would need to assess your stroke risk. It is also important to find out the blood flow in your brain as approximately 70% of strokes occur beyond the carotid arteries and in the deeper parts of the brain including the Circle of Willis.
The other reasons for the test include other vascular issues including diabetes, hypertension or hypercholesterolemia, chronic headaches/migraines, vertigo, dizziness or a lack of coordination from your limbs.
Specifically for the eyes, your eye doctor would run this test for any of the above reasons or if you experience a blacking out of your vision or any loss of vision called Amaurosis Fugax. Also if you have diabetes with hypertension and glaucoma, ocular migraines, peripheral vision defects or double vision.
At Solinsky Eyecare, we have an in-house technician that can perform a TCD. If you have any of the risk factors listed above or know someone who does then please call to schedule a comprehensive eye exam and your eye doctor can schedule a TCD as well: (860) 233-2020.