Laminar and Turbulent Flow Ultrasound Worksheet

Please review diagram demonstrating the flow of red blood cells (RBCs) traveling through artery from left to right. Recall a pressure gradient is necessary for fluid to flow. Because fluid is moving from left to right in this diagram, we know the pressure on the left is higher than the pressure on the right. 

In the arterial tree, narrowing is often caused by atherosclerotic plaque at the bifurcations or branching points throughout the arterial system. Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease as we age. Several risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure (HTN) and high cholesterol (hypolipidemia) increase the likelihood for your patient to have plaque. 

Consider the flow of RBCs through the narrowing in diagram. For purposes of this exercise, narrowing is a hemodynamically significant stenosis. Discuss the changes in blood flow proximal to narrowing, at tightest point of narrowing, distal to stenosis and beyond or downstream from narrowing. In your answer, include waveform shape, pulsatility, PSV and flow direction of RBCs.