Medical ultrasound is one of the most prevalent imaging techniques used for diagnosing patients. The technique allows for the visualization of tissues in the human body. Compared to competing imaging techniques such as CT or MRI, medical ultrasound has numerous advantages: it is real-time, safe (no radiation is involved), inexpensive and portable. Over the years medical ultrasound equipment has become smaller and the image quality has improved considerably. Similar to CT or MRI, contrast agents are also used in medical ultrasound. Their use comprises e.g. endocardial border delineation, the improvement of blood flow detection using Doppler methods in cardiology and radiology, and the visualization of malignant tumors (Emmer, 2009; Vos, 2010). Ultrasound is also commonly used for therapeutic applications such as High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), which is used for the noninvasive treatment of tumors by ablation, and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, which is used for the noninvasive treatment of urinary calculosis and biliary calculi. The therapeutic applications for contrast agents are currently under research and range from the stimulated uptake of bioactive materials (van Wamel et al., 2006), to drug delivery (Kooiman et al., 2009) and the treatment of tumors by bloodvessel destruction (Skyba et al., 1998).

, ,
N. de Jong (Nico) , A.F.W. van der Steen (Ton)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands, Oldelft Ultrasound B.V., Lecoeur Electronique, Erasmus MC
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Neer, P.L.M.J. (2010, July). Ultrasonic Superharmonic Imaging. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from