Portable Vector Flow Imaging Compared with Spectral Doppler Ultrasonography

Tommaso di Ianni, Kristoffer Lindskov Hansen, Carlos Armando Villagómez Hoyos, Ramin Moshavegh, Michael Bachmann Nielsen, Jørgen Arendt Jensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this study, a vector flow imaging (VFI) method developed for a portable ultrasound scanner was used for estimating peak velocity values and variation in beam-to-flow angle over the cardiac cycle in vivo on healthy volunteers. Peak-systolic velocity (PSV), end-diastolic velocity (EDV), and resistive index (RI) measured with VFI were compared to spectral Doppler ultrasonography (SDU). Seventeen healthy volunteers were scanned on the left and right common carotid arteries (CCAs). The standard deviation (SD) of VFI measurements averaged over the cardiac cycle was 7.3% for the magnitude and 3.84° for the angle. Bland-Altman plots showed a positive bias for the PSV measured with SDU (mean difference: 0.31ms-1), and Pearson correlation analysis showed a highly significant correlation (r = 0.6; p < 0.001). A slightly positive bias was found for EDV and RI measured with SDU (mean difference: 0.08ms-1 and -0.01ms-1, respectively). However, the correlation was low and not significant. The beam-to-flow angle was estimated over the systolic part of the cardiac cycle, and its variations were for all measurements larger than the precision of the angle estimation. The range spanned deviations from -25.2° (-6.0 SD) to 23.7° (4.2 SD) with an average deviation from -15.5° to 9.7°. This can significantly affect PSV values measured by SDU as the beam-toflow angle is not constant and not aligned with the vessel surface. The study demonstrates that the proposed VFI method can be used in vivo for the measurement of PSV in the CCAs, and that angle variations across the cardiac cycle can lead to significant errors in SDU velocity estimates.
Original languageEnglish
JournalI E E E Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)453 - 462
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Vector flow imaging
  • Transverse oscillation
  • Synthetic aperture sequential beamforming
  • Portable ultrasound
  • Spectral Doppler ultrasonography

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