A bolus-tracking magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method has been employed to measure velocity profiles for oscillatory flow with and without a steady flow component as well as pulsatile flow in an axisymmetric tube model. A range of flow conditions within normal physiological limits was tested. The imaged velocity profiles were observed to be generally in accord with theoretical predictions. Instantaneous flow rates calculated from the MR images agreed well with those assessed using an ultrasonic flowmeter. Because MRI is noninvasive and poses few risks to subjects, this technique is potentially useful for studying vascular hemodynamics in vivo.

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