Microbubbles are intravenous contrast agents used in contrast-enhanced ultrasound. Microbubble contrast agent is different than the agitated saline contrast agent often used in echocardiographic studies.
Microbubbles consist of a gas surrounded by a lipid, lipopolymer, or polymer shell. They range from 2-10 µm.
Microbubble shells are metabolized in the liver and the gas is exhaled.
- right-to-left vascular shunt: pre-contrast screening not currently recommended
- allergic reaction
- intra-arterial injection