Cerebral monitoring during transcarotid artery revascularization with flow reversal via transcranial doppler ultrasound examination

Lindsey A. Olivere, James Ronald, Zachary Williams, Mitchell W. Cox, Chandler Long, Cynthia K. Shortell, Kevin W. Southerland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) is a hybrid technique for carotid artery revascularization that relies on proximal carotid occlusion with flow reversal for distal embolic protection. The hemodynamic response of the intracranial circulation to flow reversal is unknown. In addition, the rate and pattern of cerebral embolization during flow reversal has yet to be investigated. The aim of this study was to characterize cerebral hemodynamic and embolization patterns during TCAR. Methods: A single-institution retrospective study of patients with carotid artery stenosis undergoing TCAR with intraoperative transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitoring of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) was performed. Primary outcomes included changes in MCA velocity and MCA embolic signals observed throughout TCAR. Results: Eleven patients underwent TCAR with TCD monitoring of the ipsilateral MCA. The average MCA velocity at baseline was 50.6 ± 16.4 cm/s. MCA flow decreased significantly upon initiation of flow reversal (50.5 ± 16.4 cm/s vs 19.1 ± 18.4 cm/s; P =.02). The reinitiation of antegrade flow resulted in a significant increase in the number of embolic events compared with baseline (P =.003), and embolic events were observed in two patients during flow reversal. Conclusions: TCD monitoring of patients undergoing TCAR revealed that the initiation of flow reversal results in a decrement in ipsilateral MCA velocity. Furthermore, embolic events can occur during flow reversal and are significantly associated with the reinitiation of antegrade flow in the internal carotid artery. However, both of these hemodynamic events were well-tolerated in our cohort. These findings suggest that TCAR remains a safe neuroprotective strategy for carotid revascularization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Embolic hits
  • Flow reversal
  • Transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR)
  • Transcranial Doppler (TCD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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