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Quantitative estimation of blood velocity using Doppler techniques is fundamentally limited because only the axial component can be detected. Speckle decorrelation resulting from scatterer motion may be used to compute non-axial components and to obtain quantitative flow information. Based on both simulations and experimental results, it is shown that the decorrelation technique is feasible only for constant flows. If flow gradients are present, the correlation between two signals along the same line of observation may be significantly affected by the gradients. Therefore, the decorrelation method cannot be used for quantitative flow estimation if flow gradients are not accurately measured and effects on signal correlation are not fully compensated. Results in this paper show that accurate estimation of flow gradients is practically difficult. It is further shown that effects of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on the correlation must also be taken into account for quantitative flow analysis.