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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2000 Jan;26(1):63-71.

High-frequency color flow imaging of the microcirculation.

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Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The extension of ultrasound (US) color flow imaging (CFI) techniques to high frequencies (> 20 MHz) has the potential to provide valuable noninvasive tools for scientific and clinical investigations of blood flow in the microcirculation. We describe the development of a slow-scan CFI system operating in the 20-100-MHz range that has been optimized to image the microcirculation. The apparatus has incorporated elements of a previously reported pulsed-wave Doppler system and is capable of operating in either CFI or pulsed-wave mode. The performance of the CFI system was evaluated at a center frequency of 50 MHz using two PVDF transducers with -6-dB beam widths of 43 and 60 microm. The -6 dB-axial resolutions were estimated to be 66 and 72 microm, respectively. In vivo validation experiments conducted using the murine ear model demonstrated the detection of flow in vessels down to 15-20 microm in diameter with flow velocities on the order of mm per s. Further experiments examining experimental murine tumors confirmed the successful detection of flow in the tumor microcirculation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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