Molecular Sonography With Targeted Microbubbles: Current Investigations and Potential Applications


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Abstract

Sonography using targeted microbubbles affords a variety of diagnostic and potentially therapeutic clinical applications. It provides a whole new world of functional information at the cellular and molecular level. This information can then be used to diagnose and possibly prevent diseases at early stages as well as devise therapeutic strategies at the molecular level. It is also useful in monitoring tumor response to therapy and devising treatment timing and plans based on the molecular state of an individual's health. Moreover, targeted microbubble-enhanced sonography has several advantages over other imaging modalities, including widespread availability, low cost, fast acquisition times, and lack of radiation risk. These traits are likely to advance it as one of the imaging methods of choice in future clinical trials examining the impact of molecular imaging on treatment outcome. This review describes the fundamental concepts of targeted microbubble-enhanced sonography as well as its potential clinical applications.

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