A device developed by retired U.S. Navy sonar experts could allow physicians to better diagnose and monitor potential stroke victims. At the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, radiologists from the University of Toronto and University Health Network, Toronto say the device--based on technology used in submarines--could help physicians and first responders provide better care for potential stroke victims.
Traditional transcranial ultrasounds rely on thinner areas of the skull, through which the ultrasound can detect potential strokes. The new sonar-based approach measures the flow of blood into the brain, which causes an outward pressure wave. "The wave encounters the skull and accelerates it. The device measures the acceleration and records this complex waveform with a time synchronized high-resolution digitizer," explained Kieran Murphy director of research and deputy chief of radiology at the University of Toronto in a statement.
If the technology can give doctors a better picture of a patient's brain, they'll be better able to administer the right treatment. "For example, when a physician suspects stroke time is of the essence, doctors could use the system to determine treatment that needs to begin immediately," added Murphy. He hopes the sonar technology could eventually be used in open heart surgery, vascular diseases and for monitoring the progression of disease for drug efficacy.
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