Doppler effect and diagnostic imaging

The Doppler effect can be applied to diagnostic imaging tests, providing information about the direction and velocity of blood flow, for example.

The Doppler effect consists of changing the perception of the frequency emitted by a sound source , by an observer, when there is relative movement between them. This effect was proposed in 1842 by Johann Christian Doppler (1803 – 1853), and was experimentally proven in 1845 by Buys Ballot (1817 – 1890), using a locomotive with trumpeters in one of the wagons.

The Doppler effect is not only characteristic of sound waves , but can also occur with electromagnetic waves , such as radio waves , microwaves and visible light. In the first half of the 20th century, Edwin Hubble managed to prove the expansion of the universe from the Doppler effect of light emitted by distant galaxies.

Use of the Doppler effect in Medicine

In Medicine, the Doppler effect is used in diagnostic imaging, in exams that provide the mapping of blood flow and make it possible to determine the speed and direction of blood in arteries , for example.

How are these exams performed?

For pregnant women , tests performed using the Doppler effect can provide information about the irrigation and oxygenation of the fetal organs, which begin to form in the third month (12th week) of pregnancy.

Doppler echocardiogram

One of the possible diagnoses made using the Doppler effect is the Doppler Echocardiogram, which provides information about the heart . By this examination, it is possible to determine:

1. Blood flow;

2. Conditions of the muscles;

3. Size of the chambers ;

4. Possible malformations;

5. Functioning of the valves .

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