Real-time contrast ultrasound muscle perfusion imaging with intermediate-power imaging coupled with acoustically durable microbubbles

Sang Hoon Seol, Brian P. Davidson, J. Todd Belcik, Brian H. Mott, Reid M. Goodman, Azzdine Ammi, Jonathan R. Lindner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations


    Background There is growing interest in limb contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEU) perfusion imaging for the evaluation of peripheral artery disease. Because of low resting microvascular blood flow in skeletal muscle, signal enhancement during limb CEU is prohibitively low for real-time imaging. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that this obstacle can be overcome by intermediate- rather than low-power CEU when performed with an acoustically resilient microbubble agent. Methods Viscoelastic properties of Definity and Sonazoid were assessed by measuring bulk modulus during incremental increases in ambient pressure to 200 mm Hg. Comparison of in vivo microbubble destruction and signal enhancement at a mechanical index (MI) of 0.1 to 0.4 was performed by sequential reduction in pulsing interval from 10 to 0.05 sec during limb CEU at 7 MHz in mice and 1.8 MHz in dogs. Destruction was also assessed by broadband signal generation during passive cavitation detection. Real-time CEU perfusion imaging with destruction-replenishment was then performed at 1.8 MHz in dogs using an MI of 0.1, 0.2, or 0.3. Results Sonazoid had a higher bulk modulus than Definity (66 ± 12 vs 29 ± 2 kPa, P =.02) and exhibited less inertial cavitation (destruction) at MIs ≥ 0.2. On in vivo CEU, maximal signal intensity increased incrementally with MI for both agents and was equivalent between agents except at an MI of 0.1 (60% and 85% lower for Sonazoid at 7 and 1.8 MHz, respectively, P <.05). However, on progressive shortening of the pulsing interval, Definity was nearly completely destroyed at MIs ≥ 0.2 at 1.8 and 7 MHz, whereas Sonazoid was destroyed only at 1.8 MHz at MIs ≥ 0.3. As a result, real-time CEU perfusion imaging demonstrated approximately fourfold greater enhancement for Sonazoid at an MI of 0.3 to 0.4. Conclusions Robust signal enhancement during real-time CEU perfusion imaging of the limb is possible when using intermediate-power imaging coupled with a durable microbubble contrast agent.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)718-726.e2
    JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


    • Contrast echocardiography
    • Contrast ultrasound
    • Microbubbles
    • Peripheral artery disease

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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