V. Demarin
Aviva Medical Centre – Zagreb, Croatia

Cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) represent conditions which occur as a result of changes in blood vessels of the brain, as well as the vessels supplying the brain. The most common types of CVDs are ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, hemorrhagic stroke and vascular dementia. CVDs affect millions of people worldwide, regardless of age, and represent a group of very important medical and social problems. Therefore, their prevention is becoming an imperative. Risk factors, such as age, gender, genetic factors, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholsterolemia, atrial fibrillation, orlifestyle,are causing changes of vessel walls which lead to CVD. Early changes of the blood vessel wall can be detected by early ultrasound screening methods which allow us to detect changes before the disease becomes clinically evident.

Intracranial hemodynamics can be assessed by Transcranial Doppler Sonography (TCD), functional TCD with various functional tests, and TCD detection of cerebral emboli. Extracranial circulation (carotid and vertebral arteries) can be assessed by means of color Doppler flow imaging (CDFI). Novel ultrasound technology enables us non-invasive, bedside detection ofearly vascular changes such as arterial stiffness, measurement of the intima-media thickness (IMT), pulse-wave velocity, or endothelial dysfunction in order to obtain information necessary to closer determine the relation between vascular risk factors and disease development, so that the evolution of CVD could be prevented or at least postponed.Early disease detection enables on-time management of vascular risk factors, and studies have shown that careful control of vascular risk factors can postpone or even reverse disease progression.

Key words: cerebrovascular diseases, prevention, ultrasound markers.

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