Function and Safety of SlowflowHD Ultrasound Doppler in Obstetrics.
Drukker L., Droste R., Ioannou C., Impey L., Noble JA., Papageorghiou AT.
SlowflowHD is a new ultrasound Doppler imaging technology that allows visualization of flow within small blood vessels. In this mode, a proprietary algorithm differentiates between low-speed flow and signals attributed to tissue motion so that microvessel vasculature can be examined. Our objectives were to describe the low-velocity Doppler mode principles, to assess the bone thermal index (TIb) safety parameter in obstetric ultrasound scans and to evaluate adherence to professional guidelines. To achieve the latter goals, we retrospectively reviewed prospectively collected ultrasound images and video clips from pregnancy ultrasound scans at >10 wk of gestation over 4 mo. We used a custom-built optical character recognition-based software to automatically identify all images and video clips using this technology and extract the TIb. Overall, a total of 185 ultrasound scans performed by three fetal medicine physicians were included, of which 60, 54 and 71 scans were first-, second- and third-trimester scans, respectively. The mean (highest recorded) TIb values were 0.32 (0.70), 0.23 (0.70) and 0.32 (0.60) in the first, second, and third trimesters, respectively. Thermal index values were within recommended values set by the World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and British Medical Ultrasound Society in all scans.