Over the past 20 years, ultrasonic cerebral perfusion imaging (UPI) has been introduced and validated applying different data acquisition and processing approaches. Clinical data were collected mainly in acute stroke patients. Some efforts were undertaken in order to compare different technical settings and validate results to gold standard perfusion imaging. This review illustrates the evolution of the method, explicating different technical aspects and milestones achieved over time. Up to date, advancements of ultrasound technology as well as data processing approaches enable semi-quantitative, gold standard proven identification of critically hypo-perfused tissue in acute stroke patients. The rapid distribution of CT perfusion over the past 10 years has limited the clinical need for UPI. However, the unexcelled advantage of mobile application raises reasonable expectations for future applications. Since the identification of intracerebral hematoma and large vessel occlusion can also be revealed by ultrasound exams, UPI is a supplementary multi-modal imaging technique with the potential of pre-hospital application. Some further applications are outlined to highlight the future potential of this underrated bedside method of microcirculatory perfusion assessment.
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