Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

Ultrasound: Transcranial Doppler

What Is an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound scan is a medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create live images from the inside the body. Also called a sonogram or sonography, ultrasounds let doctors see the body’s soft tissues, which X-rays can’t do.

Doctors order ultrasounds for many reasons, such as to look for the causes of pain, swelling, and infection. Ultrasound scans are safe and painless.

What Is a Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound?

A transcranial Doppler ultrasound uses sound waves to evaluate blood flow (blood circulation) in and around the brain. The test is also called transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography. This test takes a bit longer to do than other types of ultrasounds. A TCD can take between 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Why Are Transcranial Doppler Ultrasounds Done?

Doctors order transcranial Doppler ultrasounds to check blood vessels when a problem is affecting blood flow to the brain. For children and teens, they might order the test:

  • to screen kids and teens with sickle cell disease for their risk of stroke
  • if someone has signs of an ischemic stroke (when blood flow is blocked to part of the brain)
  • to look for blocked or narrowed blood vessels
  • if a child had a traumatic brain injury
  • to check brain function

What if I Have Questions?

If you have questions about the transcranial Doppler ultrasound or what the test results mean, talk to your doctor.

Reviewed by: Melanie L. Pitone, MD
Date Reviewed: Jan 15, 2022

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

By using this site, you consent to our use of cookies. To learn more, read our privacy policy.

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.