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1 April 2016 Experimental characterization, comparison and image quality assessment of two ultrasound contrast agents: Optison and Definity
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Microbubble-based contrast agents are commonly used in ultrasound imaging to help differentiate the blood pool from the endocardial wall. It is essential to use an agent which produces high image intensity relative to the surrounding tissue, commonly referred to contrast effect. When exposed to ultrasound waves, microbubbles produce an intense backscatter signal in addition to the contrast produced by the fluctuating size of the microbubbles. However, over time, the microbubble concentration depletes, leading to reduced visual enhancement. The retention time associated with contrast effect varies according to the frequency and power level of the ultrasound wave, as well as the contrast agent used. The primary objective of this study was to investigate and identify the most appropriate image acquisition parameters that render optimal contrast effect for two intravenous contrast agents, Optison™ and Definity™. Several controlled in vitro experiments were conducted using an experimental apparatus that featured a perfused tissue-emulating phantom. A continuous flow of contrast agent was imaged using ultrasound at different frequencies and power levels, while a pulse wave Doppler device was used to monitor the concentration of the contrast agent solution. The contrast effect was determined based on the image intensity inside the flow pipe mimicking the blood-pool relative to the intensity of the surrounding phantom material mimicking cardiac tissue. To identify the combination of parameters that yielded optimal visualization for each contrast agent tested, the contrast effect was assessed at different microbubble concentrations and different ultrasound imaging frequencies and transmission power levels.
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Amy C. Hughes, Steven W. Day, Cristian A. Linte, and Karl Q. Schwarz "Experimental characterization, comparison and image quality assessment of two ultrasound contrast agents: Optison and Definity", Proc. SPIE 9790, Medical Imaging 2016: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 97900H (1 April 2016);

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