Human cerebral perfusion analysis with ultrasound contrast agent constant infusion: A pilot study on healthy volunteers

Günter Seidel, K. Meyer, V. Metzler, D. Toth, M. Vida-Langwasser, T. Aach

39 Citations (Scopus)


With ultrasound (US) contrast agent (UCA) continuous infusion providing a steady state, mean tissue microbubble velocity can be assessed by analyzing the reappearance rate after microbubble destruction with US energy (refill kinetics). In this study, we investigated this new approach for the assessment of human cerebral perfusion. A total of 12 healthy volunteers were investigated transtemporally with increasing pulsing intervals (250, 500, 750, 1000, 1250, 1500, 2000, 3000 and 4000 ms) and two UCA infusion rates (0.5 and 1.0 mL/min of Optison™). Intensity vs. pulsing interval curves were analyzed using an exponential curve fit and parameters of the curve (plateau echo enhancement, A, representing the microbubble concentration within the interrogated tissue; rate constant, β, which is related to blood flow and their product, F = Aβ) were compared. For 20/20 investigations being available for further analysis, it was possible to generate a typical exponential intensity vs. pulsing interval curve from the ipsilateral thalamus. The plateau echo enhancement A showed a significant (p = 0.02), and the β as well as the F values displayed a nonsignificant (p = 0.06, both), increase with infusion rate. The qualitative analysis of β and F parameter images displayed the most homogeneous visualisation of perfusion in the ipsilateral thalamus and main territory of the middle cerebral artery. In conclusion, it is possible to display the UCA refill kinetics in human cerebral microcirculation after microbubble destruction by transcranial US. Grey-scale harmonic imaging allows a quantitative approach to cerebral perfusion with a large interindividual variation of the parameters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)183-189
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2002


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