Colour doppler ultrasound of the lumbar arteries: a novel application and reproducibility study in healthy subjects

Ultrasound Med Biol. 2006 Feb;32(2):171-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2005.11.006.


Lumbar arteries are important because they are the main source of blood supply to the lumbar spine structures. However, these vessels and their flow characteristics have received little attention and their role in conditions such as low back pain remains unclear. The present study 1. describes the application of duplex ultrasonography in the assessment of lumbar artery blood flow and 2. evaluates the interobserver and intraobserver reproducibility of lumbar artery Doppler velocimetry. A total of 13 healthy volunteers were evaluated by two different examiners successively on the same day and measurements repeated by the same examiners 1 week later. Peak systolic velocities of lumbar arteries were recorded at an optimal angle below 60 degrees . Overall mean peak systolic velocity (+/-SD) for lumbar arteries was 0.158 +/- 0.051 m/s, and mean Doppler angle (+/-SD) was 24.6 +/- 14.5 degrees . For interobserver variability, the coefficient of variation was 23.4% and SD of differences 0.037 m/s. Reliable results of lumbar artery Doppler velocimetry demonstrate its applicability in future clinical investigations in patients with low back disorders. (E-mail: ).

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbosacral Region / blood supply*
  • Lumbosacral Region / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color / methods*