Detection and characterization of emboli in the blood stream is of high clinical importance for making decisions after surgery. In this study, a new technique based on the nonlinear oscillations of gas bubbles was applied to gaseous emboli detection, characterization and sizing. To simulate gaseous emboli, an experimental system was developed to produce air bubbles of uniform diameters ranging from 19 μm up to 200 μm. The ultrasonic setup consisted of low-frequency transducers operating at 130 kHz and 250 kHz and using low acoustic pressures (30 kPa and 55 kPa). The experimental and theoretical results show that, depending on the transmitted frequency and the bubble sizes, higher harmonic components were produced in the frequency spectrum of the backscattered echo. Nonresonating bubbles scatter either linearly when their sizes are far away from the resonance size or nonlinearly at the second or third harmonic frequency when their sizes are getting close to the resonance size. Only resonant bubbles or bubbles very close to the resonance size are able to scatter at higher harmonic frequencies (fourth and fifth). This property is used to discriminate resonating bubbles from other bubble sizes. The appearance of harmonic component in the frequency spectrum seems to be an unambiguous tool to differentiate gaseous emboli from solid emboli that scatter linearly. (E-mail: Copyright

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Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology
Department of Anesthesiology

Palanchon, P. C., Bouakaz, A., van Blankenstein, J. H., Klein, J., Bom, K., & de Jong, N. (2001). New technique for emboli detection and discrimination based on nonlinear characteristics of gas bubbles. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 27(6), 801–808. doi:10.1016/S0301-5629(01)00384-2