Statistical Variations of Ultrasound Signals Backscattered from Flowing Blood

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The statistical distributions of ultrasonic signals backscattered from blood have recently been used to characterize hemodynamic properties, such as red blood cell (RBC) aggregation and blood coagulation. However, a thorough understanding of the relationship between blood properties and the statistical behavior of signals backscattered from flowing blood is still lacking. This prompted us to use the statistical parameter to characterize signals backscattered from both whole blood and RBC suspensions at different flow velocities (from 10 to 60 cm/s) and hematocrits (from 20% to 50%) under a steady laminar flow condition. The Nakagami parameter, scaling parameter, backscatter amplitude profile and flow velocity profile across a flow tube were acquired using a 10 MHz focused ultrasonic transducer. The backscattered signal peaked approximately at the centerline of the flow tube due to the effects of RBC aggregation, with the peak value increasing as the flow velocity of whole blood decreased. The Nakagami parameter increased from 0.45 to 0.78 as the flow velocity increased from 10 to 60 cm/s. The probability density function (PDF) of signals backscattered from flowing whole blood conformed with a pre-Rayleigh distribution. The Nakagami parameter was close to 1 for signals backscattered from RBC suspensions at all the flow velocities and hematocrits tested, for which the PDF was Rayleigh distributed. These differences in the statistical distributions of backscattered signals between whole blood and RBC suspensions suggest that variations in the size of dynamic scatterers in the flow affect the shape of the backscattered signal envelope, which should be considered in future statistical models used to characterize blood properties. (E-mail: and

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1943-1954
Number of pages12
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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