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The potential clinical value of contrast-enhanced echocardiography beyond current recommendations
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Medical Engineering, Medical Imaging.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4757-7232
Department of Cardiology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital.
Department of Cardiology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital.
Department of Cardiology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Medical Image Processing
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-163385OAI: diva2:799840

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-03-31 Created: 2015-03-31 Last updated: 2015-04-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Toward increased applicability of ultrasound contrast agents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Toward increased applicability of ultrasound contrast agents
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Ultrasound is one of the most widely used modalities in medical imaging because of its high cost-effectiveness, wide availability in hospitals, generation of real-time images, and use of nonionizing radiation. However, the image quality can be insufficient in some patients. Introducing a contrast agent (CA), which comprises a suspension of 2–6 mm-sized microbubbles, improves the image quality and thus the image analysis. At present, contrast-enhanced ultrasound is frequently used during standard clinical procedures such as kidney, liver, and cardiac (echocardiography) imaging. Multimodality and targeted imaging are future areas for ultrasound CAs. Multimodality imaging may improve diagnostics by simultaneously providing anatomical and functional information. Targeted imaging may allow for identification of particular diseases.

The work within this thesis focused mainly on a novel multimodal polymer-shelled CA with the potential to be target specific. In Study I, the acoustic response was determined in a flow phantom by evaluating the contrast-to-tissue-ratio when using contrast sequences available in clinical ultrasound systems. This study showed that a high acoustic pressure is needed for optimal visualization of the polymer-shelled CA. In Study II, the in vivo performance of this CA was evaluated in a rat model, and the blood elimination time and subcellular distribution were determined. In Study III, the efficiency in endocardial border delineation was assessed in a pig model. The polymer-shelled CA had a significantly longer blood circulation time than the commercially available CA SonoVue, which is favorable for target-specific CA, in which a long circulation time increases the probability of target-specific binding. Transmission electron microscopic analysis of tissue sections from liver, kidney, spleen and lungs, obtained at different time points after CA injection showed that macrophages were responsible for the elimination of the polymer-shelled CA. A higher dose of the polymer-shelled CA was needed to obtain similar endocardial border delineation efficiency as that obtained using SonoVue. The results of Studies I–III demonstrate that the polymer-shelled CA has potential applicability in medical imaging.

Current guidelines for contrast-enhanced echocardiography are limited to cases of suboptimal image quality or when there is a suspicion of structural abnormalities within the left ventricle. It may be hypothesized that the wider use of contrast-enhanced echocardiography may help to detect some diseases earlier. Study IV assessed the diagnostic outcomes after contrast administration in patients without indications for CA use. The myocardial wall motion score index and ejection fraction were evaluated by experienced and inexperienced readers, and a screening for left ventricular structural abnormalities was performed. More cases of wall motion and structural abnormalities were detected in the contrast-enhanced analysis. Intra- and interobserver variability was lower with the use of CAs. This study suggests that the more widespread use of CAs instead of the current selective approach may contribute to earlier detection of cardiovascular disease.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. xii, 51 p.
TRITA-STH : report, ISSN 1653-3836 ; 2015:3
Contrast agent, Contrast-to-tissue-ratio, Echocardiography, Endocardial border, Microbubbles, Multimodal, Phantom, Polymer, Ultrasound, Wall motion score index.
National Category
Medical Image Processing
Research subject
Technology and Health
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-163387 (URN)978-91-7595-496-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-04-28, 3-221, Alfred Nobels Allé 10, Huddinge, 10:00 (Swedish)

QC 20150401

Available from: 2015-04-01 Created: 2015-03-31 Last updated: 2015-04-01Bibliographically approved

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