Correlation of Common Carotid Flow Volume Measured by Ultrasonic Quantitative Flowmeter With Pathological Findings


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Abstract

To evaluate the possibility of quantitatively diagnosing carotid and cerebral atherosclerosis noninvasively, we measured common carotid flow volume in 60 sides (30 patients), using an ultrasonic quantitative flowmeter, and then compared these findings to the severity score of carotid and cerebral atherosclerosis as determined at autopsy. Stenosis decreased common carotid flow volume in the carotid and cerebral arteries. Increases in the severity score varied inversely with reduced flow volume, which was high in inverse correlation (r = −0.696). Patients with flow volumes of 8.5 ml/sec or greater did not have stenosis greater than or equal to 75%, whereas all patients with flow volumes of 6.4 ml/sec or less had stenosis greater than or equal to 50%, with 45% of these having stenosis greater than or equal to 75%. These pathological findings confirm that the common carotid flow volume reflects the degree of carotid and cerebral atherosclerosis present and that the lower limit of common carotid flow volume in healthy subjects is 6.5 ml/sec.

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