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J Radiol. 2005 Mar;86(3):325-34.

[Validation of a new methodology for characterizing ultrasound contrast agents (UCA)].

[Article in French]

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Laboratoire d'Imagerie du Petit Animal, Institut Gustave Roussy.



Validation of an experimental ultrasound system on erythrocyte suspensions with variable levels of aggregation and application to the echogenicity quantification of UCA under quasi-physiologic flow conditions. MATERIALS AND METHODS. The system is constituted with a Couette cell with variable applied shear rates, an ultrasound emitter/receiver and a digital scope for radio-frequency signal acquisition. Ultrasound indices (UI) were defined for the two experimental established protocols based on the gold standard laser methodology. Washed red cells with or without variable Dextran 70 kD concentrations were used to simulate a wide particle size range. A preliminary application to UCA was conducted with Levovist for calibration of the system.


For each protocol, applied ten times on identical whole blood samples, a student t-test revealed no significant variation for all UI. Results on washed red cells were in good agreement with Rayleigh's theory of ultrasound backscattering. Significant correlations were obtained between laser and UI for washed red cells with different Dextran concentrations. An elevation of 12.13 dB in backscattered intensity was obtained after addition of Levovist.


The constituted Couette system allowed reproducible and accurate echogenicity quantification of small scatterers such as UCA in quasi-physiologic blood flow conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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