BACKGROUND: Harmonic power Doppler imaging (H-PDI) has been introduced into the field of contrast echocardiography as a contrast-specific imaging modality. However, there has been considerable skepticism as to whether H-PDI would be quantifiable, because it depends on the destruction of microbubbles and has more complex signal processing than gray scale imaging. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between the concentration of microbubbles and the resulting H-PDI signals even under conditions where bubble destruction is most likely. Furthermore, we evaluated whether microbubbles of Levovist freely pass the microcirculation, which is a prerequisite for the assessment of myocardial blood flow.
METHODS AND RESULTS: A strong positive correlation was found between the H-PDI signals and the amount of microbubbles up to the onset of acoustic shadowing (r = 0. 968, P<0.001). Time-intensity curves for H-PDI of air-filled microbubbles were compared with time-concentration curves of indocyanine green (ICG) in both a flow phantom and a working heart setup. The mean transit times (MTTs) through the myocardium of both agents were compared after a bolus injection into the left coronary artery. A close correlation was observed between 1/MTT and flow in both setups (r>0.98, P<0.0001). However, at high flow rates, the MTTs of the microbubbles were slightly, albeit not significantly, faster than those of indocyanine green.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that microbubbles fulfill the prerequisites of free flowing tracers through the myocardium. Furthermore, H-PDI technology allows a reliable assessment of time-concentration curves of air-filled microbubbles up to the onset of acoustic shadowing.
|Tijdschrift||Echocardiography-A journal of cardiovascular ultrasound and allied techniques|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||1|
|Status||Published - jan-2000|