Chapter

Contrast echocardiography

L. Galiuto, R. Senior and H. Becher

in The EAE Textbook of Echocardiography

Published on behalf of © European Society of Cardiology

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599639
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199602209 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199599639.003.0007
Contrast echocardiography

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Contrast echocardiography is a non-invasive, well tolerated echocardiographic technique which employs ultrasound contrast agent in order to improve the quality of echocardiographic images, by enhancing blood flow signal.

Clinical usefulness of this echocardiographic imaging modality resides in the possibility of providing better acoustic signal in cases of poor quality images, with additional important information related to assessment of myocardial perfusion. Indeed, about one-third of echocardiographic images are affected by poor quality due to high acoustic impedance of the chest wall of the patients secondary to obesity or pulmonary diseases, not allowing detection of left ventricular endocardial border. Moreover, in patients with low ejection fraction and apical left ventricular aneurysm, intraventricular thrombus could be undetectable with standard echocardiography. Furthermore, coronary microcirculation cannot be assessed by standard echocardiography. Contrast echocardiography can be performed in all such conditions to improve diagnostic power of echocardiography.

The adjunctive role of contrast echocardiography is well defined in both rest and stress echocardiography in order to detect the endocardial border and intraventricular thrombi, to accurately measure ejection fraction, wall motion, and to assess myocardial perfusion.

The purpose of this chapter is to explain basic principles, feasibility, safety, major clinical applications, current indications, and further developments of contrast echocardiography.

Chapter.  8666 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cardiovascular Medicine ; Radiology

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