This paper provides a detailed review of the in vitro, in vivo, and clinical applications of ultrasound to understand blood coagulation. The paper focuses on the effect of blood rheology on clotting mechanisms, especially on the use of ultrasound to detect the viscoelastic properties of blood clots. After a short introduction, the paper describes how quantitative ultrasound parameters can be used to study the process of blood coagulation. Ultrasound parameters can be used for tissue characterization, and so the process of blood coagulation can be monitored continuously by measuring the ultrasound backscatter, attenuation coefficient, and velocity. Furthermore, several ultrasound elastography methods including quasi-static strain imaging, shear wave, and acoustic-radiation-force imaging are introduced for measuring the viscoelastic properties of blood clots. The advantages and drawbacks of these ultrasound-based approaches for detecting blood coagulation are discussed. Finally, new areas of research, the clinical application of ultrasound, and areas of potential future developments are presented.
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