Contrast echocardiography is the only clinical imaging technique in which the imaging modality (ultrasound) can cause a change in the contrast agent (microbubbles). The change in the contrast agent can range from small oscillations of the microbubbles at a low mechanical index to their disruption at a high mechanical index. The specific mechanical index required to produce these various effects may be different for each contrast agent, depending on the bubble dimension as well as shell and gas characteristics. These alterations in bubbles result in changes in ultrasound backscatter that are specific for the bubbles themselves, rather than for tissue, and are therefore exploited for imaging their presence in tissue. These signal-processing techniques have resulted in an increased signal-to-noise ratio from bubbles vis-à-vis the tissue and have made online assessment of myocardial perfusion possible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine