Side-branches and curvatures in the arterial tree yield deviations from the axial oriented velocity. Velocity or volume flow estimates based on the assumption that flow is axially oriented are of limited value at these sites. This article evaluates information obtainable by using a multigate Doppler ultrasound (US) instrument used with curved phantoms, which resemble the human coronary arteries. The comparison of experimental velocity data with data provided by an accurate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method shows differences in the range of 4 to 11% for four curvatures with different radii. Multigate data are also used to estimate the volume flow in the curved segments at different experimental conditions. An error lower than 15% is obtained, to be compared with a 24% error obtained by assuming a parabolic velocity profile. In particular, it is shown that the residual error is not related to the small deviation of the velocity vectors from the axial direction due to the presence of secondary velocity components, which are found to be of magnitude less than 10% with respect to the axial velocity component.

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Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology
Department of Cardiology

Krams, R., Bambi, G., Guidi, F., Helderman, F., van der Steen, T., & Tortoli, P. (2005). Effect of vessel curvature on Doppler derived velocity profiles and fluid flow. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 31(5), 663–671. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2005.01.011