Blood velocity profiles in the origin of the canine renal artery and their relevance in the localization and development of atherosclerosis.
Using a 20-MHz 80-channel pulsed Doppler velocimeter and 30-MHz high-resolution echo ultrasound, we investigated the in vivo hemodynamics at the origin of the renal artery by measuring the velocity profiles and bifurcation geometry of a surgically exposed left renal artery in 10 anesthetized dogs. The angle between the aorta and the renal artery ranged from 60 degrees to 90 degrees (mean, 84 degrees) although the bifurcation did not lie in a single anterodorsal plane and the diameter of the renal artery ranged from 1.5 to 3.5 mm (mean, 2.4 mm). Despite different geometries, the velocity profiles in the different aortorenal bifurcations were similar. Although regions of reverse velocity were observed, the net flow in the renal artery was in the forward direction throughout the cardiac cycle. The peak Reynolds' number was 486 +/- 63. The velocity profiles in the proximal renal artery in the plane parallel to the bifurcation showed velocity vectors directed toward the caudal wall throughout the cardiac cycle. Reverse flow, indicating flow separation, was observed near the cranial wall even during systole. When the probe was placed on the cranial wall perpendicular to the wall, a velocity component from the cranial side to the caudal side was observed. At a distance of four diameters from the renal ostia, velocity profiles were almost parabolic. These results indicate that the velocity pattern near the cranial wall at the renal ostia, at which atherosclerotic lesions are prone to develop, are characterized by 1) a low time-averaged shear rate, 2) separation of the flow, and 3) a time-varying oscillation of the flow.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association