Heart and Vessels

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

A laser Doppler catheter for monitoring both phasic and mean coronary vein flow

  • Kei-ichiro Mito
  • Yasuo Ogasawara
  • Osamu Hiramatsu
  • Katsuhiko Tsujioka
  • Fumihiko Kajiya


A new catheter-type laser Doppler velocimeter has been developed to monitor coronary vein flow. A thin graded-index multimode optical fiber (outer diameter of 125 µm) is set inside a 5-F catheter, and eight elastic silicon rubber spikes are arranged radially toward the vessel wall to fix the catheter tip in or near the axial region of the coronary vein. He-Ne laser light (wave length =632.8nm) is introduced into the blood through the optical fiber, and reflected light is collected by the same fiber. The Doppler signal is detected by a spectrum analyzer. To avoid any effect by the spikes on flow, the fiber is extended from the catheter tip by 3 mm at the time of measurement. Straight and curved tubing was used to examine the accuracy of flow measurement. The flow velocities recorded by the catheter, which were measured by an electromagnetic flowmeter, exhibited excellent linearity (r= straight: 0.982, curved: 0.996). The blood flow velocity in the great cardiac vein was measured by this method in five dogs. The predominantly systolic waveform, which is a characteristic of the coronary vein flow, was observed in all of the dogs. The great cardiac vein velocity increased around the beginning of the ventricular ejection and decreased gradually after the peak formation at mid- or end-diastole. In addition to this main peak, small flow components were frequently observed during isovolumic contraction and the atrial contraction phase, although these flow components varied in individual dogs. Following left anterior descending artery occlusion, the great cardiac vein flow velocity decreased significantly. Following reopening of the left anterior descending artery, the great cardiac vein flow velocity increased, showing a reactive hyperemic response, and then it returned to the control level. In conclusion, our catheter-type laser Doppler velocimeter holds promise for continuous monitoring of both mean and pulsatile coronary vein flow velocities in man.

Key words

Optical fiber-coronary catheter Coronary vein flow velocity Coronary flow reserve 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kei-ichiro Mito
    • 1
  • Yasuo Ogasawara
    • 1
  • Osamu Hiramatsu
    • 1
  • Katsuhiko Tsujioka
    • 1
  • Fumihiko Kajiya
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Engineering and Systems CardiologyKawasaki Medical School, MatsushimaOkayamaJapan

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