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J Vasc Interv Radiol. 1997 Mar-Apr;8(2):209-14.

Volumetric evaluation of blood flow in normal renal arteries with a Doppler flow wire: a feasibility study.

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Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.



To evaluate the feasibility of direct intravascular determination of renal artery (RA) blood flow with a Doppler probetipped guide wire.


Potential renal donors (n = 10) with normal RAs (n = 23) underwent evaluation of RA blood flow velocity with use of a 0.018-inch, 12-MHz Doppler guide wire. The RA average peak velocity (APV) was obtained with the flow wire. RA diameter was obtained from the filmed images with magnification corrected to a known standard or by a computerized quantification program. These data were used to determine the vessel's cross-sectional area (CSA).


The right and left RA APV, CSA, and blood flow differed insignificantly within the group and averaged 9.7 and 9.0 cm/sec (P = .43), 0.417 and 0.357 cm2 (P = .22), and 382 and 370 mL/min (P = .43), respectively. However, in individuals, the RA CSA and total volumetric blood flow varied by a mean of 29% (range, 4%-56%) and 50% (range, 19%-128%), respectively.


This study demonstrates that direct intravascular determination of RA blood flow with a Doppler-tipped wire is both feasible and relatively uncomplicated. Results indicate that blood flow can vary significantly, both in kidneys within the same individual and from person to person. The Doppler wire may facilitate measurements of RA blood flow during endoluminal interventions and help determine an optimal endpoint for these procedures.

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