Clinical Diagnosis of Brain Death and Neurosonology

Meeting discussed use of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography as an ancillary test for brain death clinical diagnosis

By Marina Alpaidze, MD, and Gia Tomadze, MD

The Neurosonology Specialty Group (NSG) of the WFN, formerly known as Neurosonology Applied Research Group, is dedicated to the promotion of science and research as well as of education and training in the field of ultrasonic techniques and its clinical utilization. Therefore, international cooperation and the dissemination of scientific information within the field of neurosonology is part of NSG WFN activities.

On Oct. 19, 2019, the Georgian Association of Transplantology and Georgian Chapter of NSG in cooperation with NSG WFN organized a one-day workshop dedicated to transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography utilization as an ancillary test for confirmation of the clinical diagnosis of brain death. Among the faculty were Prof. Gia Tomadze, MD, PhD, chair of the surgery department at Tbilisi State Medical University; Prof. Marina Janelidze, MD, chair of the neurology department, Tbilisi State Medical University; Prof. Marina Alpaidze, president of the Georgian Chapter of NSG WFN; and Alexander Razumovsky, PhD, FAHA, secretary of the NSG WFN.

This one-day course was designed for individuals who are interested in performing and interpreting TCD studies specifically related to clinical yield of TCD for confirmation of the clinical diagnosis of brain death. The faculty discussed current clinical guidelines for death confirmation, potential false positive or false negative clinical cases, and reasons when use of ancillary tests for brain death confirmation could be appropriate. In addition, discussion also focused on cultural and religious barriers that are often limiting procedures for organ donation and requirements to streamline processes for organ transplants. Finally, the clinical value of TCD for confirmation of total cerebral blood flow cessation in the patient with a clinical diagnosis of brain death was debated in detail.

The next NSG WFN accredited course will take place April 3-5, 2020, during the European Society of Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics in Belgrade, Serbia. •