Microbubbles

Last revised by Arlene Campos on 10 Jun 2024

Microbubbles are intravenous contrast agents used in contrast-enhanced ultrasound. Microbubble contrast agent is different to 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.

Contraindications
  • right-to-left vascular shunt: pre-contrast screening not recommended

  • allergic reaction

  • intra-arterial injection

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