Doppler ultrasound in vitro modeling of turbulence in carotid vascular disease

Meghan L. Thorne, Tamie L. Poepping, Richard N. Rankin, Hristo N. Nikolov, David W. Holdsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Turbulence is ubiquitous to many systems in nature, except the human vasculature. Development of turbulence in the human vasculature is an indication of abnormalities and disease. A severely stenosed vessel is one such example. In vitro modeling of common vascular diseases, such as a stenosis, is necessary to develop a better understanding of the fluid dynamics for a characteristic geometry. Doppler ultrasound (DUS) is the only available non-invasive technique for in vivo applications. Using Doppler velocity-derived data, turbulence intensity (TI) can be calculated. We investigate a realistic 70% stenosed bifurcation model in pulsatile flow and the performance of this model for turbulent flow. Blood-mimicking fluid (BMF) was pumped through the model using a flow simulator, which generated pulsatile flow with a mean flow rate of 6 ml/s. Twenty-five cycles of gated DUS data were acquired within regions of laminar and turbulent flow. The data was digitized at 44.1 kHz and analyzed at 79 time-points/cardiac cycle with a 1024-point FFT, producing a 1.33 cm/s velocity resolution. We found BMF to exhibit DUS characteristics similar to blood. We demonstrated the capabilities to generate velocities comparable to that found in the human carotid artery and calculated TI in the case of repetitive pulsatile flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Issue number27
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventMedical Imaging 2004 - Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 18 2004Feb 19 2004


  • Blood-mimicking fluid
  • Carotid bifurcation
  • Coherent and incoherent fluctuations
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • In vitro modeling
  • Turbulence intensity


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