Transcranial Doppler ultrasound scan is a noninvasive method of evaluating the major intracranial vessels. It is becoming an important screening tool for predicting high-risk sickle cell patients for developing cerebrovascular disease. This study evaluates the patients’ characteristics, common indications, and findings on Doppler ultrasound of the middle cerebral arteries of sickle cell patients performed at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria.
This is a preliminary report of an ongoing review of the transcranial Doppler scans done at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital. The records of all patients, the indications for Doppler examination, and major findings on the middle cerebral arteries were documented.
There are 60 patients, consisting of 22 males and 38 females. Their ages ranged from 1.0 to 41.0 years, with mean of 11.58 ± 7.30 years. About a third of the patients were asymptomatic (38.3%). Those with headache constituted 20.0%, whereas those with past cerebral syndrome constituted 8.3%. Other indications include stroke (11.67%) and transient ischemic attack (3.3%).
The mean peak systolic velocity of the middle cerebral artery measured 204.8 cm/s (±80 cm/s) and 208.8 (±79 cm/s) on the respective right and left side. This right-to-left difference was statistically significant (P = 0.046). Symptomatic and female patients showed higher mean peak systolic velocity values when compared with males, although the difference was not statistically significant.