Objectives. We sought to 1) study the effects of FS-069 on cardiac and systemic hemodynamic function, myocardial blood flow, left ventricular wall thickening and pulmonary gas exchange when injected intravenously; and 2) compare the myocardial kinetics and microvascular rheology of FS-069 and Albunex when injected directly into a coronary artery. Background. FS-069 is a second-generation echocardiographic contrast agent composed of perfluoropropane-filled albumin microspheres; it is capable of consistent and reproducible myocardial opacification from a venous injection. Methods. Nine dogs were used to study the effects of FS-069 on hemodynamic function, pulmonary gas exchange, left ventricular wall thickening and myocardial blood flow and to characterize its myocardial kinetics when injected intravenously. These dogs were also used to compare the myocardial kinetics of FS-069 with those of Albunex during intracoronary injections. Nine Sprague-Dawley rats were used to compare the microvascular rheology of these two contrast agents, and in vitro modeling was performed to assess whether the microvascular findings of FS-069 can explain its echocardiographic behavior during direct coronary injections. Results. There were no effects of 30 rapid venous injections of FS-069 (every 20 s) on cardiac output; mean aortic, pulmonary or left atrial pressures; and peak positive and negative first derivative of left ventricular pressure (dP/dt). Similarly, there were no effects of this agent on radiolabeled microsphere-measured regional myocardial blood flow, left ventricular wall thickening or pulmonary gas exchange. When injected intravenously, the myocardial transit of this agent resembled a gamma-variate form. When diluted FS-069 was injected directly into the coronary artery; however, its transit resembled the integral of gammavariate function, with persistent myocardial opacification lasting several minutes, which was different from that of Albunex. Intravital microscopy revealed that, unlike Albunex, when no bubbles are entrapped within the microcirculation after an arterial injection, a very small fraction of the diluted, larger FS-069 microbubbles are entrapped. In vitro modeling confirmed that this small fraction of microbubbles can result in persistent myocardial opacification. Conclusions. FS-069 produces no changes in hemodynamic function, myocardial blood flow, left ventricular wall thickening or pulmonary gas exchange when injected intravenously in large amounts. When diluted FS-069 is injected into the coronary artery, a very small fraction of the larger bubbles are entrapped within the microcirculation, resulting in a persistent contrast effect. Thus, although FS-069 is a safe intravenous echocardiographic contrast agent, it cannot provide information on myocardial blood flow when injected directly into a coronary artery.
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