Recent update in ultrasound contrast agents


  • Poonam Vohra Department of Radiodiagnosis, PGIMER & Dr. R. M. L. Hospital, New Delhi, India
  • Kusum Jasuja Department of Microbiology, BRD Medical college, Gorakhpur, UP, India



Ultrasound contrast agents, Microbubbles


Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is the application of ultrasound contrast medium to traditional medical sonography. Ultrasound contrast agents rely on the different ways in which sound waves are reflected from interfaces between substances. This may be the surface of a small air bubble or a more complex structure. Commercially available contrast media are gas-filled microbubbles that are administered intravenously to the systemic circulation. Microbubbles have a high degree of echogenicity (the ability of an object to reflect ultrasound waves). There is a great difference in echogenicity between the gas in the microbubbles and the soft tissue surroundings of the body. Thus, ultrasonic imaging using microbubble contrast agents enhances the ultrasound backscatter, (reflection) of the ultrasound waves, to produce a sonogram with increased contrast due to the high echogenicity difference. CEUS can be used to image blood perfusion in organs, measure blood flow rate in the heart and other organs, and for other applications.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Poonam Vohra, Department of Radiodiagnosis, PGIMER & Dr. R. M. L. Hospital, New Delhi, India

Consultant and Associate Professor

Deptt. of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging

Kusum Jasuja, Department of Microbiology, BRD Medical college, Gorakhpur, UP, India

Associate Professor

Deptt.Of Microbiology


Wilson SR, Greenbaum LD, Goldberg BB. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound: what is the evidence and what are the obstacles?. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2009;193(1):55-60.

Lindner JR, Klibanov AL, Ley K. Targeting inflammation, In: Biomedical aspects of drug targeting. Muzykantov VR, Torchilin VP, eds. Boston: Kluwer; 2002: 149–172.

McCulloch M, Gresser C, Moos S, Odabashian J, Jasper S, Bednarz J, et al. Ultrasound contrast physics: A series on contrast echocardiography. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2000;13:959-67.

Lindner JR. Microbubbles in medical imaging: current applications and future directions. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2004;3:527-32.

DEFINITY® (Perflutren Lipid Microsphere) Injectable Suspension. Available at http://www.rxlis Accessed on 16 June 2016.

Perflexane: (AFO150,Imagent, ImavistTM). Drugs in R&D. Adis International. 2002;3(5):306-9.

Klibanov AL. Ligand-carrying gas-filled microbubbles: ultrasound contrast agents for targeted molecular imaging. Bioconjug Chem. 2005;16:9–17.

Wei K, Jayaweera AR, Firoozan S, Linka A, Skyba DM, Kaul S. Quantification of myocardial blood flow with ultrasound-induced destruction of microbubbles administered as a constant venous infusion. Circulation. 1998;97(5):473–83.

Arditi M, Frinking PJA, Zhou X, Rognin NG. A new formalism for the quantification of tissue perfusion by the destruction-replenishment method in contrast ultrasound imaging. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2006;53(6):1118–29.

Klibanov AL. Targeted delivery of gas-filled microspheres, contrast agents for ultrasound imaging. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 1999;37:139-57.






Educational Forum