Department of Radiology, Medical Ultrasound Imaging Center, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
The feasibility of estimating urinary flow velocity from the decorrelation of radiofrequency (RF) signals was investigated in soft tissue-mimicking models of obstructed and unobstructed urethras. The decorrelation was studied in the near field, focal zone and far field of the ultrasound beam. Furthermore, the effect of beam width was investigated. The results of this study suggest that it is feasible to estimate flow velocity in models of the urethra by quantifying the decorrelation of RF ultrasound signals. The decorrelation slope increased more rapidly and more linearly with increasing velocity in the focal zone than in the near and far field. A preliminary example of an in vivo measurement in a healthy volunteer illustrated that this method has potential for clinical use in the future.