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15.11.2016 | Original Investigation | Ausgabe 2/2017 Open Access

Journal of Echocardiography 2/2017

Accuracy and limitations of vector flow mapping: left ventricular phantom validation using stereo particle image velocimetory

Journal of Echocardiography > Ausgabe 2/2017
Rei Asami, Tomohiko Tanaka, Ken-ichi Kawabata, Kunio Hashiba, Takashi Okada, Tomohide Nishiyama
Wichtige Hinweise
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12574-018-0381-9.



The accuracy of vector flow mapping (VFM) was investigated in comparison to stereo particle image velocimetry (stereo-PIV) measurements using a left ventricular phantom. VFM is an echocardiographic approach to visualizing two-dimensional flow dynamics by estimating the azimuthal component of flow from the mass-conservation equation. VFM provides means of visualizing cardiac flow, but there has not been a study that compared the flow estimated by VFM to the flow data acquired by other methods.


A reproducible three-dimensional cardiac blood flow was created in an optically and acoustically transparent left-ventricle phantom, that allowed color-flow mapping (CFM) data and stereo-PIV to be simultaneously acquired on the same plane. A VFM algorithm was applied to the CFM data, and the resulting VFM estimation and stereo-PIV data were compared to evaluate the accuracy of VFM.


The velocity fields acquired by VFM and stereo-PIV were in excellent agreement in terms of the principle flow features and time-course transitions of the main vortex characteristics, i.e., the overall correlation of VFM and PIV vectors was R = 0.87 (p < 0.0001). The accuracy of VFM was suggested to be influenced by both CFM signal resolution and the three-dimensional flow, which violated the algorithm’s assumption of planar flow. Statistical analysis of the vectors revealed a standard deviation of discrepancy averaging at 4.5% over the CFM velocity range for one cardiac cycle, and that value fluctuated up to 10% depending on the phase of the cardiac cycle.


VFM provided fairly accurate two-dimensional-flow information on cardio-hemodynamics. These findings on VFM accuracy provide the basis for VFM-based diagnosis.

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