Recent publications have emphasized the relationship between the spectrum of the backscattered acoustic signal, beam geometry, and flow patterns in the measurement of blood flow by Doppler ultrasound. On this basis, we believe that in the future more importance will be placed on analyzing various characteristics of the spectral shape rather than absolute parameters of measurement, such as the mean frequency. The potential of this approach for extracting more information from the raw Doppler signal is introduced by considering the Spectral Broadening Index (SBI). We explain the use of the SBI parameter for measuring flow angle under restricted flow conditions. This is done by using an analytic/computational model for prediction of the spectral broadening effect. By simulation study, the performance of various spectral estimators for determining the SBI from finite Doppler signal segments is evaluated.

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