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Angiology. 1995 Jul;46(7):583-90.

Significant differences between side-mounted and end-mounted intracoronary Doppler flow probes for the measurement of blood flow velocity.

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  • 1National Heart & Lung Institute, London, England.


Use of the intracoronary Doppler flow probe is an established method for the assessment of coronary blood flow velocity. The aim of this study was to perform an in vitro comparison of two commonly used Doppler probes, which differ in the location of the piezoelectric crystal (end-mounted vs side-mounted). Blood flow velocity was measured over a wide range of flow rates in a flow simulator using heparinized whole blood. Measurements were made with both Doppler probes assessed in two positions (supported and unsupported) within the tubing. The results were compared with estimated true velocities. Further measurements were made with six side-mounted probes, correcting for the assumed crystal mounting angle and for the angle calculated from magnified images of the individual crystals. Mean velocities for end- and side-mounted probes correlated highly with predicted velocities (all r > or = 0.99), but the side-mounted probes significantly overestimated velocity by > 100%. Estimation of the true crystal mounting angle of the side-mounted probe revealed considerable variability (range 30-42 degrees) and was lower than the recommended angle correction factor of 60 degrees. Velocities corrected for the individual crystal mounting angles agreed more closely with predicted mean velocities. Although both probes are adequate for the assessment of relative changes in flow, the side-mounted probe considerably overestimates mean velocity, which is partly explained by the variable mounting angle of the crystal. The demonstrated limitations of the side-mounted Doppler flow probe in vitro should be considered in undertaking measurement of intracoronary blood flow velocity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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