Ultrasound enhancing agents (UEAs) are being utilized for a growing number of applications with real-time very low mechanical index (MI) techniques in clinical cardiology today. This article will review recent developments on the safety of UEAs and their effectiveness in myocardial perfusion imaging, three-dimensional quantification of left ventricular function, and vascular imaging. UEAs are now being utilized in all age groups, with new indications that add incremental value to the currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These include the incremental value in cardiac imaging, where the off-label analysis of myocardial perfusion observed with UEAs adds to the enhanced endocardial border delineation. In carotid artery imaging, UEAs improve the detection of plaque but also can examine plaque neovascularization. Vascular surgeons now utilize UEAs in the evaluation of endovascular repair to detect endoleaks without the need of ionizing radiation. Newer applications are emerging in the detection of left atrial appendage thrombi and quantification of myocardial blood flow and volume in transplant patients.
- Contrast echocardiography
- Perfusion imaging
- Ultrasonic contrast agents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine