Objectives. The central hypothesis of this study was that microbubble survival, and subsequent left ventricular and myocardial ultrasound contrast, could be improved by altering microbubble gas to consist of a higher molecular-weight (less diffusible) and less soluble gas. Background. Microbubble survival after intravenous injection is shortened because of rapid diffusion of blood-soluble room air gases (nitrogen and oxygen) across the permeable bubble membrane into blood. Methods. Thirteen open chest dogs received intravenous injections of a constant dose of sonicated dextrose albumin that was incubated with either room air or 100% nitrogen, 100% helium or 100% sulfur hexafluoride. Nitrogen (100%) is less blood soluble than room air, whereas helium and sulfur hexafluoride are the least soluble. Sulfur hexafluoride has the slowest diffusion rate. To further decrease the diffusion rate, each sample was administered during inhalation of room air and again during brief inhalation of the same gas with which it had been incubated. Results. The highest peak videointensity in the left ventricular cavity was produced by the sonicated dextrose albumin incubated with sulfur hexafluoride, the gas having lowest blood solubility and diffusion rate, while sulfur hexafluoride was briefly inhaled during the period of intravenous injection (peak videointensity 139 ± 10 vs. 54 ± 11 for room air-exposed sonicated dextrose albumin, p < 0.001). Myocardial contrast was visually evident in >80% of the intravenous injections of sulfur hexafluoride-exposed sonicated dextrose albumin when the agent was given as an 8-fold concentrated sample during brief inhalation of sulfur hexafluoride. Conclusions. Visual myocardial echocardiographic contrast is possible after intravenous injection of sonicated dextrose albumin if the microbubbles contain a gas with low blood solubility and diffusivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine