Diagnostic Cerebral Ultrasound

What is Diagnostic Cerebral Ultrasound (TCD)?

The diagnostic cerebral ultrasound (TCD) is a non-invasive ultrasound diagnostic procedure used to record the blood circulation within the brain. Your physician or neurologist may have recommended that you have this test to determine the amount of blood flow to certain areas of your brain. There is virtually no discomfort during the test.

Diagnostic cerebral ultrasound helps your physician in the diagnosis of a wide range of conditions affecting blood flow to the brain and within the brain. During TCD,  sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, are transmitted through the tissues of the skull. These sound waves reflect off blood cells moving within the blood vessels, allowing their speed to be calculated.

The TCD is done by a trained technologist. Technologists working in Neurovascular Labs are specially trained in vascular ultrasound testing, like the TCD. The test can take up to 15-20 minutes or more to complete. Plan on being in the office for up to an hour in most cases.

The Medical Director reviews and interprets each and every TCD test and your neurologist will go over the results. Results are reviewed at your scheduled follow up appointment after all your treatment plan results are in. Please do not ask the technician for this information.

Before the TCD:

  • Please have clean dry hair
  • No makeup on face, eyelids and around the neck areas
  • Turn cell phone and electronic devices off
  • Inform the technician if you had a recent eye surgery

During the TCD:

  • You will either be positioned on a padded examination table or seated in a chair
  • Water-soluble gel (ultrasound gel) is applied to the skin over the area to be tested. The gel is usually applied on the face, eyelids, and around the neck areas.
  • A small probe called a transducer is held in place on skin’s surface until the blood flow information has been recorded
  • Keep your head still and avoid speaking during the test


  • Q: I have a pacemaker can I still have the TCD?
  • A: Yes –  You can have a TCD if you have a pacemaker implant

To Learn More About An Appointment

To learn more about establishing neurological care with a neurologist at Clinical Neurology Specialists, please contact us for further assistance.