In vitro calculation of flow by use of contrast ultrasonography. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography Heidenreich, P. A., WIENCEK, J. G., Zaroff, J. G., ARONSON, S., Segil, L. J., Harper, P. V., Feinstein, S. B. 1993; 6 (1): 51-61


Contrast echocardiography has been used for qualitative assessment of cardiac function, and its potential for quantitative assessment of blood flow is being explored. With the development of an ultrasound contrast agent capable of passage through the microcirculation, a mathematical model based on classic dye dilution theory, and a digital ultrasound acquisition system, absolute quantitation of myocardial perfusion may be feasible. This study validates the mathematical model in a simple in vitro tube system. Flow was delivered at variable rates through an in vitro tube system while a longitudinal section was imaged with a modified commercial ultrasound scanner. Albunex contrast agent was injected, and videointensity data were captured and analyzed off line. Time-intensity curves were generated, and flow was calculated by use of a mathematical model derived from classic dye dilution mathematics. For 39 different flow rates, ranging for 9.2 to 110 ml/seconds, a correlation coefficient of r = 0.928 (p < 0.001) with a slope of 0.97 was calculated. We conclude that (1) contrast ultrasonography is capable of quantitative determination of flow in an in vitro system, and (2) a mathematical model based on dye dilution theory can be used to calculate flow with accuracy and precision.

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