The asymmetry of the spectral distribution of ultrasonic Doppler flow velocity signals, assessed using the coefficient of skewness, is discussed as a criterion of stenosis differentiation. Its performance is compared with that of the index of turbulence intensity for both in vitro and in vivo flow Doppler signals, recorded distal to a stenosis. The power spectral distributions are computed using the direct Fourier transform and maximum likelihood method. The asymmetry of spectral distribution has proved to be a more efficient criterion than the turbulence intensity. The maximum likelihood method ensures better stenosis differentiation than the direct FFT method.