Purpose of Review: Non-invasive molecular imaging is currently used as a research technique to better understand disease pathophysiology. There are also many potential clinical applications where molecular imaging may provide unique information that allows either earlier or more definitive diagnosis, or can guide precision medicine-based decisions on therapy. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEU) with targeted microbubble contrast agents is one such technique that has been developed that has the unique properties of providing rapid information and revealing information only on events that occur within the vascular space. Recent Findings: CEU molecular probes have been developed for a wide variety of disease states including atherosclerosis, vascular inflammation, thrombosis, tumor neovascularization, and ischemic injury. While the technique has not yet been adapted to clinical use, it has been used to reveal pathological processes, to identify new therapeutic targets, and to test the efficacy of novel treatments. Summary: This review will explore the physical basis for CEU molecular imaging, its strengths and limitations compared to other molecular imaging modalities, and the pre-clinical translational research experience.
- Contrast-enhanced ultrasound
- Molecular imaging
- Targeted ultrasound
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine