Doppler Flow StudiesWhat is a Doppler flow study?
Doppler flow is a type of ultrasound that uses sound waves to measure the flow of blood through a blood vessel. Waveforms of the blood flow are shown on the ultrasound screen. Doppler flow studies may be used to assess blood flow in the umbilical blood vein and arteries, fetal brain, and fetal heart. Doppler flow is sometimes called Doppler velocimetry.
A Doppler flow study is often used when a fetus has intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), which means the fetus is smaller than normal for his/her gestational age. The waveforms may show that blood flow in the umbilical vessels of a fetus with IUGR is decreased, indicating that the fetus may not be receiving enough blood, nutrients, and oxygen from the placenta.
How is a Doppler flow study performed?