High—frame rate vector flow imaging of the carotid bifurcation in healthy adults: Comparison with color doppler imaging

Alfredo Goddi, Chandra Bortolotto, Maria Vittoria Raciti, Ilaria Fiorina, Luca Aiani, Giovanni Magistretti, Andrea Sacchi, Carmine Tinelli, Fabrizio Calliada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives—To evaluate the carotid bifurcation in healthy adults using a commercial system equipped with high–frame rate vector flow imaging (VFI) based on the plane wave and to compare VFI with color Doppler imaging. Methods—Carotid bifurcation diameters and flow characteristics of 60 vessels in 60 healthy volunteers were evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively to assess complex flow patterns and their extension and duration. Results—Complex flow in the internal carotid artery (ICA) was associated with a statistically significant difference in the DICA sinus-to-common carotid artery (CCA) diameter ratio (the relative change in diameter between the CCA and ICA sinus.) Vector flow imaging and color Doppler imaging were in accordance when detecting complex flow in 96.7% of cases; in 3.3% of cases, only VFI identified small recirculation areas of short duration. Vector flow imaging highlighted a larger extension of the complex flow (mean6SD, 47.7628.5 mm2; median, 45.5 mm2) compared with color Doppler imaging (mean, 29.2619.9 mm2; median, 29.5 mm2) and better depicted different complex flow patterns; a strong correlation (r50.84) was found between the DICA sinus-to-CCA diameter ratio and the complex flow extension. Vector flow imaging showed a longer duration of the flow disturbances (mean, 3806218 milliseconds; median, 352.5 milliseconds) compared with color Doppler imaging (mean, 3256206 milliseconds; median, 333 milliseconds), and there was a strong correlation (r50.92). Conclusions—Vector flow imaging is as effective as color Doppler imaging in the detection of flow disturbances, but it is more powerful in the assessment of complex flow patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2263-2275
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Carotid arteries
  • Doppler imaging
  • Hemodynamic
  • Plane wave imaging
  • Ultrasound
  • Vascular (diagnostic)
  • Vector flow imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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