Contrast Echocardiography in the ICU and OR

  • Paolo Voci
  • Luigi TritapepeEmail author
  • Marta Iaconi
  • Daria Collacchi
  • Demetrio Tallarico
  • Luciano Agati


Ultrasound contrast agents can be divided into first-generation and second-generation agents. First-generation hand-agitated saline solutions contain large and unstable air microbubbles which cannot pass through the pulmonary microcirculation and are used only for the opacification of the right side of the heart. These agents have been used for about 40 years to rule out a shunt at the level of the fossa ovalis. Second-generation agents are made of smaller, more standardized and stable microbubbles containing a low-diffusable gas. They can easily cross the pulmonary circulation and provide left ventricular cavity and left ventricular myocardial opacification. These agents are used for better delineation of the endocardial contour and for myocardial perfusion studies.


Ultrasound contrast agents Patency of the fossa ovalis Myocardial perfusion Coronary flow reserve Graft patency Levovist 

Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Voci
    • 1
  • Luigi Tritapepe
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marta Iaconi
    • 2
  • Daria Collacchi
    • 2
  • Demetrio Tallarico
    • 3
  • Luciano Agati
    • 4
  1. 1.Tor Vergata UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Cardiac Surgery ICUPoliclinico Umberto I Hospital, Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Cardiology IPoliclinico Umberto I Hospital, Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  4. 4.Department of Cardiology IIPoliclinico Umberto I Hospital, Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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