Doppler ultrasound (DUS) is a non-invasive means of obtaining patient-specific flow boundary conditions in computational modelling studies [1] or estimating volumetric flow in clinical studies [2, 3]. To convert velocity information to a flow waveform, three related assumptions are often applied, 1) that the peak velocity lies in the centre of a cylindrical vessel, 2) that a centrally-located sample volume will thus detect the peak velocity, and 3) that the velocity profile is fully-developed and axisymmetric, being well-approximated by a parabolic (Poiseuille) or Womersley profile. These assumptions may not always be valid, however, even for nominally straight vessels like the common carotid artery (CCA) [4, 5]. While one might expect that flow estimated from DUS would become increasingly inaccurate as the profile becomes less axisymmetric, the scale of such errors and their relation to the true profile shape have not been quantified for the CCA. Moreover, for a heavily skewed velocity profile, the peak velocity may not lie within the DUS sample volume, and hence the choice of sample volume or beam-vessel orientation may also affect the accuracy of flow calculations. In this study, we investigate these issues by performing an idealized virtual DUS on data from image-based computational models of the carotid bifurcation.

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