Temperature dependent behavior of ultrasound contrast agents.
Mulvana H., Stride E., Hajnal JV., Eckersley RJ.
Recent interest in ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) as tools for quantitative imaging and therapy has increased the need for accurate characterization. Laboratory investigations are frequently undertaken in a water bath at room temperature; however, implications for in vivo applications are not presented. Acoustic investigation of a bulk suspension of SonoVue (Bracco Research, Geneva, Switzerland) was made in a water bath at temperatures of 20-45 degrees C. UCA characteristics were significantly affected by temperature, particularly between 20 and 40 degrees C, leading to an increase in attenuation from 1.7-2.5 dB, respectively (p = 0.002) and a 2-dB increase in scattered signal over the same range (p = 0.05) at an insonation pressure of 100 kPa. Optical data supported the hypothesis that a temperature-mediated increase in diameter was the dominant cause, and revealed a decrease in bubble stability. In conclusion, measurements made at room temperature require careful interpretation with regard to behavior in vivo.