An in vitro technique using color flow imaging and continuous wave Doppler was developed to measure the initial regurgitant flow jet diameter and velocity integral to yield the parameters for a volume calculation. Jets were produced by volume-controlled injection through tubes of various diameters (1.3, 1.9, 2.8, and 3.5 mm) to deliver volumes from 1 to 7 ml over 100 to 300 msec at pressures from 40 to 200 mm Hg. One hundred forty-five samples were obtained. Flow jet diameter consistently overestimated tube diameter by 2 mm when injected volume was 1.5 to 7 ml and by 1.5 mm when injected volume was less than 1.5 ml. This offset was stable with various transducers (2.5, 3.5, 5.0 MHz) at normal gain setting (just under noise). Therefore, corrected flow jet diameter (FJD) = FJD - 2 mm, and Doppler volume = corrected flow jet area x velocity integral. A range of injectates from 1.1 to 7 ml generated Doppler volume of 1.0 to 8.2 ml. The relation between Doppler volume (DV) and injected volume (IV) was DV = 1.079 IV - 0.22, r2 = 0.945, p < 0.01. This relation was not altered by tube diameter. Thus a method combining color flow imaging and continuous wave Doppler provides a reliable and accurate measure of in vitro flow volume.