Effective treatment starts with accurate diagnostic tests, so physicians depend on our leading cerebral hemodynamic monitoring and diagnostic services—transcranial Doppler ultrasound, carotid duplex ultrasound, and electroencephalography—to ensure consistent and exceptional patient care. These non-invasive and cost-effective tests make for a better patient experience while providing the reliable guidance physicians need to evaluate treatment options that will help patients feel better faster.
Accredited and certified by The Joint Commission, evidence of our ongoing commitment to clinical excellence, quality, and continuous improvement.
Surgeons rely on our experience from conducting nearly 40,000 tests
Fellowship-trained medical staff, highly skilled and credentialed clinicians
Point-of-care testing provides convenience and reliable data
WHAT WE PROVIDE
Neurodiagnostic tests and procedures are vital tools for physicians. By reliably confirming or ruling out the presence of a neurological disorder or other conditions that affect blood flow to and within the brain, patients can get on the road to recovery more quickly. Some procedures are performed in specialized settings, but many tests once conducted in a hospital can now be performed conveniently in a physician’s office or an outpatient testing facility, with little if any risk to the patient.
Our expert medical and technical staff have extensive experience and use the latest technology and techniques. We are accredited in Vascular Testing from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission.
Transcranial Doppler (TCD) Ultrasound
TCD determines the blood flow in the major arteries of the brain and is often referred to as “the physician’s stethoscope” for the brain. It is a non-invasive, non-expensive exam that produces fast and reliable results. TCD is particularly useful in detecting cerebrovascular disease and evaluating stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), and can also be used to:
- Record potential emboli in cerebral vessels in real time, the only protocol that makes this possible and a key diagnostic tool in critical care
- Evaluate stroke or transient ischemic attack at the bedside or in an outpatient setting
- Reduce the use of conventional studies (angiographic/MRI/MRA/CT/CTA) by providing a less expensive and non-invasive evaluation of the cerebrovascular hemodynamic
- Detect cerebrovascular disease, which is characterized by obstructions and altered flow in cerebral vessels
- Prevent intraoperative and postoperative complications of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and carotid stenting procedures
TCD is a vital tool in critical care settings for monitoring the natural course of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) in the ICU, for evaluating the effect of medical treatment or intervention, for forecasting, and for identifying high-risk patients for onset of cerebral ischemia after SAH and in patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Carotid Duplex (CD) Ultrasound
CD provides valuable information regarding the carotid arteries and blood flow to the brain. This non-invasive ultrasound can assess hemodynamics and detect possible underlying arterial disease. High-frequency sound waves are directed from a hand-held transducer probe at the neck; these waves “echo” off the arterial structures and produce an image on a monitor that shows obstructions or narrowing of the arteries caused by atherosclerotic plaque or thrombosis (blood clots). CD can be used to:
- Evaluate the carotid arteries to decrease the risk of a future stroke
- Investigate dizziness, memory loss, stroke, loss of muscle control, and other symptoms that might result from carotid artery stenosis
- Screen patients for carotid endarterectomy and, if combined with MR angiography and transcranial Doppler, provide an alternative to conventional angiography in the pre-operative assessment
- Determine the degree of carotid artery stenosis in patients with suspected or confirmed carotid artery disease to determine whether surgery or medication is warranted
An EEG records the electrical activity in the brain similar to how an electrocardiogram (EKG) records the electrical activity of the heart. Recording the activity of the brain’s cortex and assessing whether a brain is functioning at an altered level of awareness is a vital diagnostic tool for physicians. Irregularities identified through testing can help evaluate syncope (loss of consciousness) and other conditions, such as:
- seizure disorders (such as epilepsy)
- head injury or tumor
- transient ischemic attacks
- memory problems
- sleep disorders
Diagnostic tests and procedures are vital tools that help physicians confirm or rule out the presence of a neurological disorder or other medical condition. Some procedures are performed in specialized settings, but many tests that were previously conducted in a hospital can now be performed conveniently in a physician’s office or outpatient testing facility, with little if any risk to the patient.
- Q: What do the tests tell my doctor and me?
- A: Our transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasound, carotid duplex (CD) ultrasound, and electroencephalography (EEG) are non-invasive tests that help a physician diagnose or rule out a variety of neurological conditions. TCD uses ultrasound to measure the blood flow within the brain. CD uses ultrasound to determine how well blood is flowing through the big arteries in the neck that carry blood to the brain. An EEG records the electrical activity in the brain similar to how an EKG records the electrical activity in the heart.
- Q: Does it hurt?
- A: No. EEGs, TCDs and CDs tests do not hurt. There is no pain or discomfort associated with these tests.
- Q: Do I need to do anything to prepare for the test?
- A: For a TCD or CD, there are no special preparations. For an EEG, aside from your doctor’s orders, you should avoid caffeine for three hours before the exam because often an EEG needs to record your brain activity while you are awake, drowsy, and during brief sleep, if possible.
- Q: Are there any side effects or after effects of the test?
- A: There are no side effects. There may be some ultrasound gel in your hair at your temples or neck after a TCD or CD, or some electrode cream in your hair after an EEG. The gels and cream will easily wash out.
- Q: What can I expect to happen during the test?
- A: You may be asked to turn your head, open and close your eyes, or perform a breathing exercise. Mostly, however, the patient is simply asked to lie still and remain quiet during the tests.
- Q: When will I get the results of my test?
- A: Typically, the doctor will receive the results the next day. If there is a need to get the information faster, we can process your results more quickly.
- Q: How much does it cost?
- A: Costs vary from region to region, state to state, and clinic to clinic. Ask your doctor. Usually the costs are much less than an X-ray or other imaging methods, like an MRI or CT.
At a time when change is certain, partners who know how to transform the delivery of healthcare are critical to your success. SpecialtyCare’s patient-focused services minimize clinical variation, resulting in greater patient safety, improved clinical outcomes, and lower costs. As a result, our customers get the reliable, consistent value they need to be leaders.