Introduction: The aim of the study was to evaluate characteristics and provide the normal values of wall shear stress (WSS) and flow turbulence (Tur), and the relationship between them in the carotid bifurcation based on an ultrasound vector flow imaging (V Flow) in healthy adults. Methods: Max and mean WSS and Tur values at three segments (initial segments of internal and external carotid arteries [IICA and IECA]; distal segment of common carotid artery [DCCA]), both in anterior and posterior walls, were successfully obtained in 56 healthy adults, using ultrasound V Flow function. Relationship between mean WSS and Tur was further explored. Results: The mean WSS value was 0.71 Pa, 0.86 Pa, and 0.96 Pa at IICA, IECA, and DCCA, respectively (IICA < IECA < DCCA, p < 0.05). The mean Tur value was 13.85%, 5.46%, and 4.17% at IICA, IECA, and DCCA, respectively (IICA > IECA > DCCA, p < 0.05). A cutoff value (WSS = 0.4 Pa) was selected and Tur values were significantly higher in group with WSS cutoff value <0.4 Pa than group with WSS cutoff value ≥0.4 Pa (p < 0.01). Conclusion: WSS and Tur are moderately negatively correlated, which can be used in the quantitative evaluation of carotid bifurcation and could be a potential dual-parameter tool in the clinical research for early detection of carotid atherosclerosis.

This study seeks to explore the relationship between flow turbulence (Tur) and wall shear stress (WSS) in carotid bifurcations of healthy human subjects, using ultrasound vector flow (V Flow) imaging. Measurements were taken at three sites along the carotid bifurcation. We preliminarily concluded that WSS and Tur were moderately negatively correlated; further exploration of WSS cutoff value (0.4 Pa) emphasized the robustness of the association. These two advanced hemodynamic parameters can help assess complex blood flow quantitatively and accurately in the carotid artery bifurcation using V Flow.

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