Morphologic characteristics and hemodynamics in the carotid artery were investigated in patients with stroke by use of Doppler color-flow analysis and three-dimensional (3D) analysis by computer graphics. The 3D imaging of the carotid bifurcation was reconstructed from a series of transverse B-mode images. Comparison of color-flow and 3D images demonstrated that wall configuration in vivo, dilation, and curvature play an important role in reversal of flow and stagnation at the carotid bifurcation. Furthermore, 3D analysis is very useful in mapping the distribution of the atheromatous plaques. The analyses suggest that it is important to investigate the wall configuration of the bifurcation in vivo on flow patterns, especially flow separation and stagnation, in relation to the development of atheromatous plaques.
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