Echocardiography is a portable technology that can be used to assess myocardial, pericardial, and valvular structure and function. Doppler echocardiography provides the ability to evaluate blood flow in large vessels and within cardiac chambers. Recently, the advent of microbubble contrast agents, which can opacify the systemic circulation, has improved the ability of echocardiography to evaluate left-ventricular function by improving delineation of the left-ventricular endocardial border. Furthermore, these microbubbles can be used to assess myocardial perfusion and quantify myocardial blood flow. Myocardial contrast echocardiography has been studied in multiple clinical situations, including the acute evaluation of patients presenting with suspected cardiac ischemia. Ongoing research is focused on the development of microbubbles that are capable of detecting molecular and cellular events within the circulation, which may allow distinction of acute vs. remote ischemic insults to the myocardium. This multifaceted technology promises to be of increasing clinical utility-not only for the heart, but for any organ accessible to ultrasound.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Critical care medicine|
|Issue number||5 SUPPL.|
|State||Published - May 1 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine