Twinkling artifact

Twinkling artifact is the result of intrinsic machine noise seen with color Doppler ultrasound 1. It occurs as a focus of alternating colors on Doppler signal behind a reflective object (such as calculi), which gives the appearance of turbulent blood flow 2. It appears with or without an associated color comet-tail artifact 3.

Twinkling artifact is more sensitive for detection of small stones (e.g. urolithiasis, cholelithiasis) than is acoustic shadowing. It is highly dependent on machine settings and is most pronounced when the reflecting surface is rough. One of these settings is the location of the focal zone: when the focal zone is located below a rough reflecting surface, the twinkling artifact becomes more obvious than when it is above it 4. It has also been shown that using a lower pulse repetition frequency facilitates the visualization of the artifact 5.

History and etymology

The first description of twinkling artifact was by the French radiologist Alain Rahmouni (1957-2018) 7 et al in 1996 5.

See also

Physics and imaging technology: ultrasound
Ultrasound - general index
Inspired signs
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Article information

rID: 21828
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Twinkling artefacts
  • Twinkling artefact
  • Twinkle artifacts
  • Twinkle artifact
  • Twinkle artefact
  • Twinkle artefacts
  • Twinkle artefact - ultrasound

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  • Case 4: from a foreign body
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