If there is narrowing in the artery, then the flowing blood can become or becomes turbulent just as in a river that gets narrower, where the water flows faster in the center stream. The Peak Systolic Velocity of flowing blood can be measured in arteries by Doppler methods which determine the shift of flowing blood.
When there is no blood flow, there is no velocity or PSV equals 0. If there is narrowing in the artery, then the flowing blood can be turbulent. When the PSV is 125 cm/sec or greater, then there is at least 50% narrowing of the artery. A 50% narrowing is considered “significant” and further testing is needed. Generally when the PSV is 125 cm/sec or greater, the color picture of the artery will show a yellow color at the point of blockage. When the blockage is very severe, there may be a gap in the color picture of the artery.
Normal PSV value is 1 – 124 (less than 50% blockage). If the PSV is 125 or greater, or 0, please inform your personal physician that screening has suggested a 50% blockage or greater. A PSV of 0 is considered severe and further testing is needed.