Gas-Filled Liposomes as Echocardiographic Contrast Agents in Rabbits with Myocardial Infarcts

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RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. The authors evaluated gas-filled liposomes as echocardiographic contrast agents in rabbits with myocardial infarcts.METHODS. Ten rabbits underwent ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Five animals underwent echocardiography before and after production of myocardial infarct (MI) and four animals had post-MI imaging only. In either case, images were obtained before and after injection of a single dose of 1 mL of gas-filled liposomes. Three radiologists blinded to clinical information reviewed the pre- and postcontrast images and assessed endomyocardial border definition, wall motion, confidence levels for normal versus abnormal wall motion and visualization of papillary muscle and mitral valve.RESULTS. Postcontrast scans showed significant improvement (P < .05) in endomyocardial border definition, visualization of wall motion, papillary muscle and mitral valve as well as increased reader confidence level.CONCLUSIONS. These results are encouraging and suggest that gas-filled liposomes may be a useful contrast agent for echocardiography.

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