Twinkle artifact

Twinkle artifact is the result of intrinsic machine noise seen with colour Doppler ultrasound 1. It occurs as a focus of alternating colours 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 colour comet-tail artifact 3.

Twinkle artifact is more sensitive for detection of small stones (e.g. urolithiasis) 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: i.e. when the focal zone is located below a rough reflecting surface, the twinkling artifact becomes more obvious than when it is above it 4.

History and etymology

The first description of twinkling artifact was offered in 1996 by Rahmouni et al.

See also

Physics and imaging technology: ultrasound
Ultrasound - general index
Share article

Article information

rID: 21828
Section: Physics
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Twinkle artefacts
  • Twinkle artefact - ultrasound
  • Twinkling artefact

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Right side
    Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Ultrasound scan o...
    Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Left vesicoureter...
    Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 4: from a foreign body
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.