Effect of flow disturbance on ultrasonic backscatter from blood

J Acoust Soc Am. 1984 Apr;75(4):1265-72. doi: 10.1121/1.390733.


Due to the better resolution and performance provided by the new generation of real-time high resolution ultrasonic scanners, blood now becomes a tissue which can also be visualized ultrasonically. There is strong experimental evidence indicating that the echogenicity of blood is increased as a result of erythrocyte aggregation. In this paper, we will show that flow disturbance may also play a significant role in influencing blood ultrasonic backscatter or echogenicity. Our results indicate that the introduction of turbulent flow can cause ultrasonic backscatter from erythrocyte suspensions to increase appreciably for hematocrits greater than 10%. We will also show that this increase may be correlated to the turbulent intensity. Moreover, the scattering peak is observed to shift to lower hematocrits when turbulence is eliminated. Experimental results obtained for uniform flow are in excellent agreement with theoretical models for small spherical scatterers which predict a scattering maximum at a hematocrit of 13%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Cattle
  • Erythrocytes / physiology*
  • Hematocrit
  • Rheology*
  • Ultrasonics