Update on Transcranial Sonography Applications in Movement Disorders


Over the past 20 years transcranial B-mode sonography (TCS) of brain parenchyma is being increasingly used as a diagnostic tool in movement disorders. The most widely recognised finding for movement disorders has been an increase in echogenicity of the substantia nigra, an area of the midbrain that is affected in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD). This finding has enabled a reliable diagnosis of IPD with high predictive values. Other sonographic features – such as hypoechogenicity of the brainstem raphe and hyperechogenicity of the lentiform nucleus – might help to increase the differential diagnosis of IPD and other movement disorders. In comparison with other neuroimaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT), TCS can currently be performed with portable machines and has the advantages of non-invasiveness with high resistance to movement artifacts. In distinct brain disorders TCS detects abnormalities that cannot be visualized – or can only be visualized with significant effort – with other imaging methods. This present update summarizes the current methodological standards and defines the assessment of diagnostically relevant deep brain structures such as substantia nigra, brainstem raphe, basal ganglia and ventricles for differential diagnosis of IPD and other movement disorders. Finally, we provide detailed information about the advantages and limitations of this novel neuroimaging method.

Keywords: transcranial sonography; Parkinson’s disease; atypical parkinsonian syndromes; secondary parkinsonian syndromes

Citation: Godani M, Canavese F, Del Sette M, Walter U. Update on transcranial sonography applications in movement disorders. Journal of Diagnostic Imaging in Therapy. 2014; 1(1): 110-128.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17229/jdit.2014-1113-008

Copyright: © 2014 Godani M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Received: 18 October 2014 | Revised: 13 November 2014 | Accepted: 13 November 2014

Published Online 13 November 2014 http://www.openmedscience.com

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