Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Circulation. 2003 Jul 15;108(2):218-24. Epub 2003 Jun 30.

Ultrasound imaging of acute cardiac transplant rejection with microbubbles targeted to intercellular adhesion molecule-1.

Author information

  • 1Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa 15213, USA.



Noninvasive techniques for detecting acute cardiac transplant rejection are limited. We hypothesized that ultrasound contrast microbubbles targeted to the endothelial cell (EC) inflammatory marker intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) would selectively bind to rejecting versus nonrejecting myocardium and that myocardial contrast echocardiography can therefore detect acute rejection.


Lipid-based microbubbles were conjugated to anti-rat ICAM-1 (MBICAM) or isotype control antibody (MBControl). In vitro MBICAM adhesion to cultured rat ECs, as assessed in a parallel plate flow apparatus, was greater to inflammatory versus normal ECs (11+/-3 versus 3+/-2 microbubbles/EC, P<0.005). In vivo abdominal heterotopic heart transplantation was performed in rats (rejection group: Brown Norway to Lewis strain; control group: Lewis to Lewis or Brown Norway to Brown Norway). Triggered myocardial contrast echocardiography was performed during intravenous MBICAM or MBControl (2.5x10(6)) injection on postoperative day 5. Myocardial videointensity from adhered MBICAM was significantly higher in rejecting (n=8) versus control (n=7) rats (10+/-4 versus 1+/-4 U, P=0.01). Postmortem histology showed normal myocardium in control rats, whereas allograft myocardium demonstrated grade III to IV rejection and strong immunohistochemical ICAM-1 staining.


Preferential adherence of ICAM-1-targeted microbubbles to rejecting versus nonrejecting rat cardiac transplant myocardium can be detected ultrasonically. Targeted microbubbles may thus offer a noninvasive ultrasound imaging technique for the detection of acute cardiac transplant rejection and other processes characterized by endothelial dysfunction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center