Document Type : Original Article


1 Neurosciences Research Center AND Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Neuroscience Research Center, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran


Background: Atherosclerotic involvement of large and small cerebral arteries leading to infarction is among the most prevalent subtypes of stroke worldwide. The hemodynamic changes due to these arterial pathologies can be studied non-invasively and in real-time by using transcranial Doppler (TCD) techniques. TCD indices of the studied arteries may guide the clinician in differentiating these two underlying arterial pathologies.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of patients with small and large vessel types of cerebral infraction based on the Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) stroke classification was undertaken in the inpatient population of neurology service of Razi Hospital, Tabriz, Iran, from October 2018 to October 2019. After clinical diagnosis, all cases underwent TCD studies, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and brain and cervical four-vessel magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). The results of TCD indices related to major arteries of the circle of Willis were tabulated and compared between large and small vessel subtypes of cerebral infarction.
Results: A statistically significant difference between right middle cerebral artery (MCA) pulsatility index (PI), left MCA PI, right internal carotid artery (ICA) PI, end-diastolic velocity (EDV), left ICA PI, left ICA EDV, left anterior cerebral artery (ACA) PI, and right vertebral artery (VA) PI measures of the two groups was seen (P < 0.05). In comparison to the large vessel group, left ACA, right VA, and bilateral MCAs and ICAs in the small-vessel stroke group demonstrated an elevated PI.
Conclusion: A significant increase of PI occurs in the majority of intracranial arteries of patients with small vessel stroke. This makes PI a valuable marker for differentiating strokes with different underlying pathophysiologies.


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