Contrast echocardiography: influence of ultrasonic machine settings, mixing conditions, and pressurization on pixel intensity and microsphere size of Albunex solutions in vitro.
To use Albunex as a blood-flow tracer, the stability and consistency of microspheres under mixing conditions must be known. This study examined the effects of mixing conditions and machine settings on the size and echogenicity of Albunex solutions in vitro. Acoustic power, log compression, time-gain compensation, and transducer frequency were varied as Albunex solutions were imaged after mixing with magnetic stirring and pressurized. Higher acoustic power and lower transducer frequency decreased mean pixel intensity of Albunex solution images over time. Intensity, size, and number of Albunex microspheres were not significantly different between stirring speeds. The echogenicity of the Albunex solutions decreased with pressurization, and the critical pressure necessary to reduce the intensity to half its initial value increased with the logarithm of concentration (r = 0.91; p < 0.001). The microsphere size decreased with pressurization and remained smaller after pressure release (3.66 +/- 2.13 versus 1.47 +/- 0.95 microns; p < 0.01). These data indicate that acoustic power and transducer frequency may affect the physical properties of Albunex microspheres, decreasing mean videointensity. Pressure sensitivity of Albunex caused the decrease of videointensity and microsphere size.
Ota, T; Hillman, ND; Craig, D; Kisslo, J; Smith, PK
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