Feature | August 11, 2014

Experts Release Updated Guide for the Effective Use of Cardiac Ultrasound Enhancing Agents

August 11, 2014 — Imaging experts from the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) released a paper, "Guidelines for the Cardiac Sonographer in the Performance of Contrast Echocardiography: A Focused Update from the American Society of Echocardiography,” to help clinicians optimize and demystify the use of ultrasound contrast media in medical imaging. This new guideline aims to expand the use of ultrasound enhancing agents in patient testing, particularly in new and growing areas of cardiovascular care.

The writing group for this updated guideline was chaired by Thomas R. Porter, M.D., FASE, the Theodore F. Hubbard Distinguished Chair of Cardiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha, Neb. Porter noted that there is “a significant need for sonographers and physicians to be updated on software and techniques that are available to enhance technically difficult echoes, which are most common in overweight patients or those in critical care units who cannot be easily positioned for optimal imaging. This enhancement not only allows sonographers to better detect myocardial ischemia at rest and during stress echocardiography, but also is useful in enhancing Doppler signals and assessing intra-cardiac masses.”

Many technological and clinical advances have occurred since the publication of the original ASE document in 2001, “Guidelines for the Cardiac Sonographer in the Performance of Contrast Echocardiography: Recommendations of the American Society of Echocardiography Council on Cardiac Sonography,” necessitating the need for this update to ensure that clinicians are aware of the new options.  The addition of these intravenous agents has been proven to greatly enhance sub-optimal images and lower the need for repeat imaging studies and thus provide more efficient patient care.

While ultrasound enhancing agents have been commercially available for more than two decades, it is estimated that less than 10 percent of all echocardiograms utilize this valuable tool, despite the fact that at least 20 percent of all echoes are believed to be sub-optimal and would benefit from enhancement. Ultrasound enhancing agents are underutilized today for a wide variety of reasons; both patients and clinicians are often reluctant to use ultrasound contrast because they mistakenly associate it with the contrast agents used for computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

While those “classic” contrast agents use ionizing radiation and nephrotoxic agents, ultrasound contrast does not contain either of these, and has a very low incidence of harmful side effects or adverse events. According to Porter, this paper “will help sonographers to better utilize ultrasound enhancing agents and build programs at their institutions by providing important information on the safety and efficacy of ultrasound enhancement in a wide variety of clinical situations.”

In conjunction with the publication of the guideline document, Porter will conduct a live webinar, including a question and answer section, on Sept. 10, 2014 at 1 p.m. ET, which will be available for free to all ASE members and other clinicians for a fee of $25. To facilitate education for those who cannot attend the live webcast, an archived version of this webinar will be available on www.ASEUniversity.org to those who pre-register.

For more information: www.onlinejase.com, www.asecho.org/guidelines

Related Content

Epsilon Imaging, EchoInsight, left ventricle, LV measurement, strain imaging, ASE 2016
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| June 17, 2016
Epsilon Imaging Inc. announced a research study was presented at the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) 2016...
ZOOM+Imaging, on-demand service, X-ray, ultrasound, CT
News | Business| June 15, 2016
ZOOM+ announced the launch of ZOOM+Imaging, a proprietary digital platform for on-demand scheduling, paying and sharing...
hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, HCM, strain echocardiography, risk assessment, ASE 2016
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| June 13, 2016
After following a large sub-set of patients, researchers found that by using strain echocardiography they could...
ASE 2016, Mayo Clinic study, echocardiography, aortic flow rate, patient risk stratification
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| June 13, 2016
Researchers from Mayo Clinic believe they have found a better way to risk stratify some of their most fragile patients.
ASE 2016, echocardiography, telemedicine, Arkansas, pediatric patients
News | Telecardiology| June 13, 2016
Two new research studies verify that echocardiography, linked to experts through telemedicine, can provide better and...
cardiac ultrasound, ASE, American society of echo
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| June 09, 2016
Below is a roundup of recent echo news that highlights technologies and topics that will be featured at the American
TeleHealthRobotics, Tele-Robotic Ultrasound, TRUDI, robotic ultrasound

The Tele-Robotic Ultrasound for Distance Imaging (TRUDI) system uses a robotic arm so a remote sonographer can control the echo probe without the need for them to be in the same room or even be in the hospital during an exam or procedure. 

News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| June 09, 2016
June 9, 2016 — The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) will host Echovation Challenge 2016, a competition for
ASE 2016, echocardiography, Seattle
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| June 01, 2016
The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) will host its 27th Annual Scientific Sessions, June 10-14, 2016, at the...
Technology | Cardiac Imaging| May 18, 2016
May 18, 2016 — The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) recently announced its launch of the IAC QI Self-Asse
Siemens, Acuson S3000 ultrasound system, HELX Evolution with Touch Control, usability study, Macadamian Technologies
News | Ultrasound Imaging| May 17, 2016
Macadamian Technologies, a user experience research, design and software development firm, recently announced the...
Overlay Init