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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2000 Jul;26(6):1009-19.

Destruction of contrast microbubbles and the association with inertial cavitation.

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Department of Radiology and Jefferson Ultrasound Education and Research Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


The destruction of insonified Sonazoid microbubbles and its association with inertial cavitation in vitro utilizing an active acoustic detector was investigated. The experimental observation indicated that contrast microbubbles could be damaged at moderate acoustic pressures of 0.6-1.6 MPa (0.4-1.0 in mechanical index, MI). A damaged bubble could be dissolved into the medium on the order of 1 ms, implying that the destruction at moderate pressures is a relatively slow (relative to inertial bubble collapse), nonviolent dissolution process following the disruption of encapsulating surface materials. Inertial cavitation events in the presence of contrast microbubbles were observed using multiple highly intense ultrasound (US) pulses (>1.6 MPa). This observation suggested that intense US might disintegrate contrast microbubbles, and fragments of disintegrated microbubbles could be activated by an upcoming highly intense imaging pulse. The above results imply that inertial cavitation is unlikely to take place in the presence of Sonazoid contrast microbubbles when exposed to diagnostic US with an MI <1.

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