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JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2009 Apr;2(4):511-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2009.02.002.

Treatment of acute intravascular thrombi with diagnostic ultrasound and intravenous microbubbles.

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Department of Internal Medicine/Section of Cardiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-2265, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether high mechanical index (MI) impulses from diagnostic ultrasound (DUS) could dissolve intravascular thrombi using intravenous microbubbles. Using a canine model, DUS was applied during a continuous intravenous infusion of microbubbles. Completely thrombosed grafts were assigned to 2 treatment regimens: low-MI (<0.5-MI) ultrasound alone; or intermittent high-MI impulses (1.9-MI) guided by low-MI ultrasound (contrast pulse sequencing). A 20-MHz cavitation detector was placed confocal to the ultrasound transducer to make intravascular cavitation measurements in 1 dog. Intravascular cavitational activity was detected when an MI of >0.5 was applied. In grafts treated with intermittent high-MI ultrasound, angiographic success was 71% at 30 min and 79% at 45 min, compared with 20% and 30% at these times in the low-MI ultrasound alone group (p < 0.05). We conclude that a commercially available DUS transducer can successfully recanalize acute intravascular thrombi during a continuous microbubble infusion.

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