Sizing gaseous emboli using doppler embolic signal intensity

Banahan, Caroline; Hague, James P.; Evans, David H.; Patel, Rizwan; Ramnarine, Kumar V. and Chung, Emma M.L. (2012). Sizing gaseous emboli using doppler embolic signal intensity. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 38(5) pp. 824–833.



Extension of transcranial Doppler embolus detection to estimation of bubble size has historically been hindered by difficulties in applying scattering theory to the interpretation of clinical data. This article presents a simplified approach to the sizing of air emboli based on analysis of Doppler embolic signal intensity, by using an approximation to the full scattering theory that can be solved to estimate embolus size. Tests using simulated emboli show that our algorithm is theoretically capable of sizing 90% of “emboli” to within 10% of their true radius. In vitro tests show that 69% of emboli can be sized to within 20% of their true value under ideal conditions, which reduces to 30% of emboli if the beam and vessel are severely misaligned. Our results demonstrate that estimation of bubble size during clinical monitoring could be used to distinguish benign microbubbles from potentially harmful macrobubbles during intraoperative clinical monitoring.

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