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Radiology. 1997 Jan;202(1):125-30.

Amplitude Doppler US: slow blood flow detection tested with a flow phantom.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, St├Ądtisches Krankenhaus Siloah, Hannover, Germany.



To evaluate the in vitro sensitivity for the detection of slow blood flow in tiny tubes with an amplitude Doppler ultrasound (US) technique at different angles and pulse repetition frequencies.


Human blood treated with heparin was pumped through silicone tubes (flow phantoms made by the author) with lumina of 3.00 mm, 0.30 mm, and 0.05 mm. Slow flow was imaged by using amplitude and color Doppler US techniques with two US devices at different pulse repetition frequencies and angles and in different sound propagation media.


Under ideal conditions, the lowest detectable velocity was 0.04-0.06 cm/sec in the 3.00-mm tube. Detection was about three to four times less sensitive in the 0.30-mm and 0.05-mm tubes. Amplitude Doppler US sensitivity is only slightly dependent on the angle of incidence and propagation medium.


The fractional volume flow determined the sensitivity of the amplitude Doppler technique for detecting low flow. Amplitude Doppler US is nearly angle independent; thus, it is superior to color Doppler US. Amplitude Doppler US is three to four times more sensitive when tube have very tiny lumina and when probes of a lower frequency are used.

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