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Evaluation of myocardial, hepatic, and renal perfusion in a variety of clinical conditions using an intravenous ultrasound contrast agent (Optison) and second harmonic imaging


OBJECTIVE To assess the potential of intravenous Optison, a second generation ultrasound contrast agent, and various ultrasound imaging modes to determine myocardial, kidney, and liver perfusion in normal subjects and patients with left ventricular dysfunction or chronic pulmonary disease together with renal or hepatic dysfunction.

METHODS Five normal subjects and 20 patients underwent grey scale echocardiographic imaging of myocardium, kidney, and liver during 505 intravenous injections of Optison. Images were assessed qualitatively by two independent observers and quantitatively using video densitometry to determine the peak contrast enhancement effect.

RESULTS Qualitative analysis showed that intermittent harmonic imaging was superior to either conventional fundamental or continuous harmonic imaging for all organs. Quantitative analysis showed that the peak change in echocardiographic intensity v baseline during continuous harmonic imaging was 11 units for myocardium (p < 0.03), 7 units for kidney (NS), and 14 units for liver (p < 0.05). During intermittent harmonic imaging the peak change was significantly greater, being 33 units for myocardium (p < 0.0001), 24 units for kidney (p < 0.0002), and 16 units for liver (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS Organ tissue perfusion can be demonstrated following intravenous injection of Optison, particularly when used in combination with intermittent harmonic imaging techniques. This contrast agent is effective in a variety of clinical conditions.

  • ultrasound
  • contrast enhancement
  • echocardiography
  • Optison

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