Supplementary Material for: Difference in Transcranial Doppler Velocity and Patient Age between Proximal and Distal Middle Cerebral Artery Vasospasms after Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Background: Transcranial Doppler (TCD) is used to monitor cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), but its diagnostic ability is reported to be limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the diagnosability of TCD and the localization of the vasospasm. Methods: This retrospective study included 20 patients who presented with symptomatic vasospasm after SAH. All 20 patients underwent daily TCD examinations and cerebral angiography after the onset of delayed cerebral ischemia. We defined positive findings on TCD as a maximum flow velocity >200 cm/s or as a mean flow velocity >120 cm/s at the horizontal part of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). We also examined the site of vasospasm on cerebral angiography. Results: Fourteen patients had true-positive findings on TCD examination, and cerebral angiography showed diffuse vasospasm involving the horizontal segment of the MCA. However, 6 patients had false-negative findings on TCD examination, and cerebral angiography showed vasospasm localized at the distal part of the MCA (the insular and/or cortical segments). The patients with proximal vasospasm were significantly younger than those with distal vasospasm. Blood flow velocity at initial TCD and the increase in velocity at the onset of vasospasm were lower and smaller, respectively, in the distal vasospasm group. Conclusions: In patients with cerebral vasospasm localized at the distal part of the MCA, flow velocity at the horizontal segment of the MCA did not increase to the level we defined as positive. To avoid such false negatives, a slight increase in velocity on TCD should be considered as positive in distal vasospasm cases, especially in older patients.