Relation of in vivo blood flow to ultrasound echogenicity

J Clin Ultrasound. 1983 Jan;11(1):3-10. doi: 10.1002/jcu.1870110103.


The mechanism of echogenicity of flowing blood during real-time ultrasonography was investigated experimentally in vivo by scanning venous and arterial blood and venous blood subjected to varying degrees of obstruction. Luminal echoes were more intense in flowing blood of the vena cava than in aortic blood of dogs. Vena cava and portal echoes increased in intensity as flow was decreased progressively by obstruction. We believe that an important cause of echogenicity of flowing blood is red cell aggregation which is greatest at low shear rates (low flow velocity). Echogenicity decreases with increase in shear rate (higher flow velocity) which causes red cell disaggregation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Circulation*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Dogs
  • Erythrocyte Aggregation
  • Female
  • Male
  • Portal Vein / physiology
  • Ultrasonography*
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / physiology
  • Vena Cava, Superior / physiology