Physiological aspects of the determination of comprehensive arterial inflows in the lower abdomen assessed by Doppler ultrasound.
Non-invasive measurement of splanchnic hemodynamics has been utilized in the clinical setting for diagnosis of gastro-intestinal disease, and for determining reserve blood flow (BF) distribution. However, previous studies that measured BF in a "single vessel with small size volume", such as the superior mesenteric and coeliac arteries, were concerned solely with the target organ in the gastrointestinal area, and therefore evaluation of alterations in these single arterial BFs under various states was sometimes limited to "small blood volumes", even though there was a relatively large change in flow. BF in the lower abdomen (BF(Ab)) is potentially a useful indicator of the influence of comprehensive BF redistribution in cardiovascular and hepato-gastrointestinal disease, in the postprandial period, and in relation to physical exercise. BF(Ab) can be determined theoretically using Doppler ultrasound by subtracting BF in the bilateral proximal femoral arteries (FAs) from BF in the upper abdominal aorta (Ao) above the coeliac trunk. Prior to acceptance of this method of determining a true BF(Ab) value, it is necessary to obtain validated normal physiological data that represent the hemodynamic relationship between the three arteries. In determining BF(Ab), relative reliability was acceptably high (range in intra-class correlation coefficient: 0.85-0.97) for three arterial hemodynamic parameters (blood velocity, vessel diameter, and BF) in three repeated measurements obtained over three different days. Bland-Altman analysis of the three repeated measurements revealed that day-to-day physiological variation (potentially including measurement error) was within the acceptable minimum range (95% of confidence interval), calculated as the difference in hemodynamics between two measurements. Mean BF (ml/min) was 2951 ± 767 in Ao, 316 ± 97 in left FA, 313 ± 83 in right FA, and 2323 ± 703 in BF(Ab), which is in agreement with a previous study that measured the sum of BF in the major part of the coeliac, mesenteric, and renal arteries. This review presents the methodological concept that underlies BF(Ab), and aspects of its day-to-day relative reliability in terms of the hemodynamics of the three target arteries, relationship with body surface area, respiratory effects, and potential clinical usefulness and application, in relation to data previously reported in original dedicated research.
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