Contrast echocardiography microbubbles are ultrasound-enhancing agents that were originally designed to help improve endocardial border definition, known as left ventricle opacification, and to enhance Doppler signals. Over time, contrast microbubbles are used to assess myocardial perfusion because they travel through the capillaries of the cardiac circulation. Current research provides good evidence that myocardial perfusion echocardiography improves comprehensive echocardiographic evaluations of ischemic heart disease. The approval of regulatory authorities and the availability of quantitative operator-independent analysis software will hopefully prompt physicians and sonographers to implement myocardial perfusion echocardiography into the daily workflow of echo laboratories. New diagnostic and therapeutic applications will result in improved patient care, especially in the area of sonothrombolysis, where preliminary data have already shown utilization in ST elevation myocardial infarction, improving left ventricular systolic function and reducing the need for implantable defibrillators at 6-mo follow-up. This review gives an overview of the applications of myocardial perfusion imaging with ultrasound. Each cited study had institutional review board/institutional animal care and use approval.

Contrast agents, Myocardial perfusion, Ultrasound,
Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology
Department of Cardiology

Porter, T.R. (Thomas R.), Feinstein, S.B, ten Cate, F.J, & van den Bosch, A.E. (2020). New Applications in Echocardiography for Ultrasound Contrast Agents in the 21st Century. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.01.004