A wide variety of surgical procedures now depend on the suture repair of vessels smaller than 1.5 mm. The need persists, however, for a rapid and objective test of patency that is atraumatic. Small‐vessel studies indicate that the high‐frequency (20 MHz) pulsed Doppler velocimeter is particulary well suited for this task. We have evaluated the ability of such a system to quantitate stenosis produced by partial ligation in a rat model, and report its initial successful use as an intraoperative tool to determine the quality of microvascular anastomoses.
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