There is increasing use of ultrasound contrast agent in high-frequency ultrasound imaging. However, conventional contrast detection methods perform poorly at high frequencies. We performed systematic invitro comparisons of subharmonic, non-linear fundamental and ultraharmonic imaging for different depths and ultrasound contrast agent concentrations (Vevo 2100 system with MS250 probe and MicroMarker ultrasound contrast agent, VisualSonics, Toronto, ON, Canada). We investigated 4-, 6- and 10-cycle bursts at three power levels with the following pulse sequences: B-mode, amplitude modulation, pulse inversion and combined pulse inversion/amplitude modulation. The contrast-to-tissue (CTR) and contrast-to-artifact (CAR) ratios were calculated. At a depth of 8mm, subharmonic pulse-inversion imaging performed the best (CTR=26dB, CAR=18dB) and at 16mm, non-linear amplitude modulation imaging was the best contrast imaging method (CTR=10dB). Ultraharmonic imaging did not result in acceptable CTRs and CARs. The best candidates from the invitro study were tested invivo in chicken embryo and mouse models, and the results were in a good agreement with the invitro findings.

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Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology

Daeichin, V., Bosch, H., Needles, A., Foster, S., van der Steen, T., & de Jong, N. (2015). Subharmonic, non-linear fundamental and ultraharmonic imaging of microbubble contrast at high frequencies. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 41(2), 486–497. doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2014.10.003