Ľudmila Družbacká, Gabriel Valočik, Peter Mitro
In recent years numerous clinical studies have demonstrated the clinical utility of contrast echocardiography. The development of ultrasound contrast agents, containing encapsulated microbubbles, has increased the possibilities for diagnostic imaging. Increasing interest has been focused on myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) since latest ultrasound-specific imaging modalities allow the detection of ultrasound contrast agents within the myocardium after intravenous injection. Due to significant improvements in imaging technology MCE has become a valuable add-on tool for the diagnosis of ischemic heart disease. The purpose of this review is to facilitate an understanding of the involved imaging technologies that have made this technique more feasible for clinical practice. It summarizes the clinical value of recent developments in myocardial contrast echocardiography, particularly with regard to the new real-time perfusion imaging, which allows simultaneous assessment of perfusion and wall motion.