The use of contrast agents as signal enhancers during ultrasound improves visualization and the diagnostic utility of this technology in medical imaging. Although widely used in many disciplines, contrast ultrasound is not routinely implemented in obstetrics, largely due to safety concerns of administered agents for pregnant women and the limited number of studies that address this issue. Here the microbubble characteristics that make them beneficial for enhancement of the blood pool and the quantification of real-time imaging are reviewed. Literature from pregnant animal model studies and safety assessments are detailed, and the potential for contrast-enhanced ultrasound to provide clinically relevant data and benefit our understanding of early placental development and detection of placental dysfunction is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)