Comparison of various agents in contrast enhancement of color doppler flow images: An in vitro study

Academic Article


  • The commercially manufactured contrast agents, Echovist and Albunex, were compared with sonicated conventional agents, indocyanine green, 29% renografin-60, 0.9% normal saline and 25% mannitol in their ability to enhance color Doppler flow signals. In a pneumatically regulated pulsatile flow system, a glycerine, saline (0.9%) and sand (5 μm particle size) solution was imaged using a 2.5 MHz phased-array transducer. Four different flow velocities (0.40, 0.35, 0.30 and 0.25 m/s) as measured by color Doppler guided pulse Doppler were utilized. All color Doppler settings were kept constant throughout the study. Utilizing a power injector, four different volumes (1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 mL) of each contrast agent were injected into the flow medium at various transducer angles (20, 30, 40 and 60°) and various distances from the transducer (3.38, 5.5, 6.76 cm). For Echovist and Albunex, several concentrations varying from 2% to 100% were used. Keeping instrument settings constant, color flow areas obtained before and after each contrast injection were planimeterized and the percent increase in the color flow area computed and compared. At full (100%) concentration, 20° transducer angle and a flow velocity of 0.40 m/s, the maximum increase in the color flow area was 568%, 251%, 180%, 110%, 71%, and 38% for Echovist, Albunex, sonicated indocyanine green, renografin, normal saline and mannitol, respectively. However, a significant reduction in the degree of color flow enhancement was observed, with decreases in the concentration of these agents, and increases in the Doppler beam incident angle or distance from the transducer. Increasing the flow velocity of the medium into which contrast was injected did not produce significant changes in the contrast enhancement effect for all agents except Echovist. Increasing the injection volume significantly increased the color flow area for sonicated agents but not for Echovist or Albunex. This preliminary in vitro study shows that the commercially manufactured contrast agents, Echovist and Albunex, are much superior to sonicated conventional contrast agents in the enhancement of color Doppler flow signals. Of the sonicated agents, indocyanine green had the best enhancement capability. © 1993.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fan P; Czuwala PJ; Nanda NC; Rosenthal SM; Yoganathan A
  • Start Page

  • 45
  • End Page

  • 57
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 1