A variety of shear rate measures have been calculated from hemodynamic data obtained by laser Doppler anemometry in flow-through casts of human aortic bifurcations. Included are measures sensitive to the mean and amplitude of the shear rate, its maximum rate of change, the duration of stasis and flow reversal near the wall, and the unidirectionality of the flow. Many of these measures are highly correlated with one another. This suggests that that it will be difficult to identify from in vivo measurements those aspects of the flow field to which the vessel wall is most sensitive. It may be possible to separate the effects of purely temporal factors (e.g., the duration of flow reversal) from those related to wall shear stress.

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