Three-dimensional colour doppler imaging of the carotid artery

Paul A. Picot, Daniel W. Rickey, Ross Mitchell, Richard N. Rankin, Aaron Fenster

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is caused by ischemic injury to the brain, usually resulting from emboli from atherosclerotic plaques. The carotid bifurcation in humans is prone to atherosclerotic disease and is a site where emboli may originate. Currently, carotid stenoses are evaluated by non-invasive duplex Doppler ultrasound, with pre-operative verification by intra-arterial angiography. We have developed a system that uses a colour Doppler ultrasound imaging system to acquire in-vivo 3-D colour Doppler images of the human carotid artery, with the aim of increasing the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound and decreasing the use of angiography for verification. A clinical aTL Ultramark 9 colour Doppler ultrasound system was modified by mounting the hand-held ultrasound scan head on a motor-driven translation stage. The stage allows planar ultrasound images to be acquired over 45 mm along the neck between the clavicle and the mandible. A 3-D image is acquired by digitizing, in synchrony with the cardiac cycle, successive colour ultrasound video images as the scan head is stepped along the neck. A complete volume set of 64 frames, comprising some 15 megabytes of data, requires approximately 2 minutes to acquire. The volume image is reformatted and displayed on a Sun 4/360 workstation equipped with a TAAC-1 graphics accelerator. The 3-D image may be manipulated in real time to yield the best view of blood flow in the bifurcation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-213
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1991
EventMedical Imaging V: Image Capture, Formatting, and Display - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: Feb 24 1991Feb 26 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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