New technologies and the availability of new echo-contrast agents have resulted in advances of diagnostic and prognostic indications of left ventricular opacification (LVO) and myocardial perfusion. The clinical diagnostic value of ultrasound contrast media for LVO and its impact on the clinical decision-making process has been demonstrated in several studies. Recent research aims at developing new quantitative software to improve the delineation of the endocardial border, to assess 3D myocardial perfusion for more accurate regional/global LV function measurements, and to evaluate 4D intra-cardiac flow dynamics. Furthermore, a general consensus has been reached on the incremental value of myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) for obtaining additional information in both chronic and acute coronary artery disease (CAD) patients and on the possibility to make quantitative measurements of microvascular damage. Q-contrast is a new software system which provides quantitative measurements to generate parametric images of microcirculatory flow. In a research project including 120 patients, Q-contrast software has been tested to assess the role of contrast in AMI (Acute Myocardial Infarction Contrast Imaging (A.M.I.C.I. Study); good agreement between parametric MCE and SPECT has been found. Preliminary results further confirm that quantitative MCE may provide additional clinical value over qualitative information for the assessment of LV function and of the effects of coronary artery disease on the myocardial microcirculation (viability, ischemia or infarct).
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||European Journal of Echocardiography|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
- Heart Diseases