|By Kirk W. Beach, PhD, MD
Half a century ago: when D. Eugene Strandness joined the University of Washington (UW) Department of Surgery as the Vascular Surgeon, Robert Rushmer, founder of Bioengineering at UW, was exploring cardiovascular physiology and Don Baker, using a newly available transistor, had just developed a portable ultrasonic Doppler for studies of blood flow at UW. Strandness collaborated with Rushmer and Baker to develop noninvasive diagnostic methods for arterial and venous diseases, leading the worldwide revolution in noninvasive diagnostic methods. To document these audio signals on paper for publication and teaching purposes, Strandness pioneered the use of spectrum analysis waveform display Doppler signals. By 1985, the Strandness team had established the guidelines for the modern duplex/Doppler spectrum analysis methods, which are still the standard. In addition to Doppler ultrasound, other diagnostic methods were used in the Strandness laboratory including: 1) plethysmography, measuring the normal 1% inflation and deflation of arterioles and venules in tissue with blood due to the cardiac cycle and respiratory cycle, and 2) phonoangiography, measuring the intensity and frequency of “bruits” (sounds generated by blood fl ow through arterial stenoses). These methods all depend on precise measurements of tissue motion.
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