Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the within-session and between-sessions reliability of measuring the vertebral artery blood flow velocities in people with cervicogenic dizziness using Doppler ultrasound at both upper and lower cervical levels.
Methods: Outcome measures were taken on 2 occasions 3 weeks apart with no active treatment provided in between the assessments on 12 participants. Pulsed-wave Doppler ultrasound was used to quantify time-averaged mean velocities through the vertebral artery at upper cervical (C0-1) and lower cervical vertebrae (C5-6). The clinical outcome measures were also recorded in people with cervicogenic dizziness. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to determine the within-session and between-session repeatability. Paired t test was used to determine the differences in the time-averaged mean velocities of blood flow at the same site of the vertebral artery and the clinical outcome measures in 2 sessions 3 weeks apart.
Results: In people with cervicogenic dizziness, there was no significant change in both clinical outcome measures and the time-averaged mean velocities when the patients were measured 3 weeks apart (P > .05). This study identified good within-session (ICC: 0.903-0.967) and between-session (ICC: 0.922-0.984) repeatability in measuring the vertical blood flow velocities in patients with cervicogenic dizziness when the clinical outcome measures were unchanged.
Conclusions: This study supports the use of Doppler ultrasound to identify changes in mean vertebral arterial blood flow velocities before and after intervention in people with cervicogenic dizziness in future studies.
Author keywords: Doppler Ultrasound Imaging, Blood Flow Velocity, Vertebral Artery, Dizziness, Reliability
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