Temporal tap manoeuvre consists in tapping over the ipsilateral superficial temporal artery while assessing the carotid bifurcation on Doppler ultrasound aiming to produce a reflected flow in the external carotid artery (ECA) and thus helping to distinguish which vessel is being assessed: external vs internal carotid artery (ICA) 1.
It is only relevant when anatomical distortions and technical limitations preclude a confident labelling of the ICA or ECA. The manoeuvre has shown to be limited and not always reliable, as the reflected flow can sometimes also be detected in the ICA 2.
- 1. Kliewer MA, Freed KS, Hertzberg BS, Paulson EK, DeLong DM, Black BL, Washington RL, Carroll BA. Temporal artery tap: usefulness and limitations in carotid sonography. Radiology. 201 (2): 481-4. doi:10.1148/radiology.201.2.8888245 - Pubmed
- 2. Tahmasebpour HR, Buckley AR, Cooperberg PL, Fix CH. Sonographic examination of the carotid arteries. Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. 25 (6): 1561-75. doi:10.1148/rg.256045013 - Pubmed