Objectives. The objectives of this study were to determine whether a new method of ultrasound imaging (transient response imaging) could improve the myocardial contrast after intravenous injections of perfluorocarbon-exposed sonicated dextrose albumin microbubble contrast medium in humans. Background. We have shown in animals that very low doses of intravenous contrast medium can produce transient but significantly better myocardial contrast when diagnostic ultrasound pulses are interrupted (delivered only once per cardiac cycle) instead of conventional 25- to 30-Hz frame rate imaging. Methods. In 14 patients with normal rest wall motion, the peak myocardial contrast produced by transient response imaging was compared with that produced by conventional harmonic ultrasound imaging after injections of low doses (0.0025 to 0.01 ml/kg) of intravenous contrast medium. All studies were performed with second harmonic imaging (2.0 to 2.5 MHz-transmitted frequency). Blood pressure, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate and pulse were monitored before and after each injection. Results. The intravenous contrast medium in the doses given produced no hemodynamic changes and no significant side effects in any patients. Overall, the mean (± SD) anterior and posterior myocardial contrast produced was significantly greater with transient response imaging than with conventional harmonic ultrasound imaging (anterior: 37 ± 20 U transient response imaging vs. 18 ± 14 U conventional harmonic imaging; posterior: 17 ± 14 U transient response imaging vs. 5 ± 5 U conventional; p < 0.01). With the sample size of 14 patients, the study had 80% power to detect a true difference of 18 U for anterior myocardial contrast and 90% power to detect a difference of 12 U for posterior contrast. Visually evident anterior or apical myocardial contrast was observed in 14 of 15 patients with transient response imaging but in only 7 patients with conventional harmonic imaging. Posterior or basal myocardial contrast was evident in 10 patients with transient response imaging but in only 1 patient with conventional harmonic imaging. Conclusions. Transient response imaging produces significantly better myocardial contrast than conventional harmonic imaging in humans and can be produced safely with minute quantities of intravenous perfluorocarbon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine