In vivo measurements of ultrasonic backscattering in blood

Shyh Hau Wang, K. Kirk Shung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasonic backscattering in blood including its dependence on the hematocrit, plasma proteins, shear rate, and flow disturbance, has been studied extensively theoretically and experimentally in vitro. However, much of the result has never been validated in vivo. To do so, backscattering measurements were made on pigs using a 10-MHz non-focused intravascular transducer in direct contact with blood. The probe was placed in either the abdominal aorta or the inferior vena cava. The backscattering coefficient (BSC) of blood flowing in these vessels as well as downstream from a stenosis was measured using an approach that was originally developed for measurements with focused transducers. With this approach, 6% porcine red cell saline suspensions prepared immediately after each in vivo measurement were used as the reference medium. Result from seven pigs at hematocrits ranging from 29 to 36% (31.9 ± 2.5%) demonstrated that BSC of blood in the vena cava, (4.62 ± 2.06) × 10 -5 cm-sr -1, is consistently higher than that in the aorta, (2.65±1.22) × 10 -5 cm-sr -1. The difference has been attributed to the lower shear rate and the formation of red cell aggregation in venous blood. These in vivo results are in agreement with those obtained in vitro. In response to stenoses created by ligating the aorta, backscattering of the blood measured downstream from the stenosis showed that the closer the site of measurement relative to the stenosis, the higher the backscatter, presumably resulting from the higher degree of flow disturbance. In vitro backscattering results on porcine whole blood were also acquired at 20 MHz with a Diasonics intravascular scanner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-431
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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