Left ventricular opacification by intravenous contrast echocardiography

Diego Castini, Francesco Gentile, Maurizio Ornaghi, Elena Mangiarotti, Massimo Garbin, Romana Ravaglia, Mauro Gioventù, Antonio Mantero, Roberto Corno, Alberto Limido, Fabrizio Morandi, Cesare Fiorentini, Antonio Pezzano, Sergio Repetto, Trond Haider, Hilde Morris, Claudio Marelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. The present study was undertaken in order to evaluate the efficacy of the intravenous administration of Albunex® in obtaining left ventricular opacification and the relationship between left ventricular opacification and pulmonary pressures and cardiac function. METHODS. Fifty- two adult patients, mostly affected by ischemic heart disease, were enrolled in the study. In 37 of these patients, a complete right heart hemodynamic study was performed after Swan-Ganz catheterization. Albunex® was administered in three randomized doses (0.10, 0.15 and 0.20 ml/kg) to all the patients. Left ventricular opacification was assessed both visually and using videodensitometric analysis. RESULTS. Left ventricular opacification was obtained in 93% of all the injections and an intermediate or strong opacification was obtained in 68%, while absent opacification was observed in 6% of the injections, irrespective of the contrast dose. An incremental opacification efficacy trend was observed from the lower to the higher dose, with an intermediate or strong opacification in 58 and in 77% of 0.10 and 0.20 ml/kg injections, respectively. Irrespective of the contrast dose, an enhancement of the endocardial borders was observed in 61% of the wall segments suboptimally visualized in basal conditions. The endocardial borders enhancement was obtained in 39 and in 79% of segments using the 0.10 and the 0.20 ml/kg doses, respectively. No statistically significant differences were observed between the videodensitometric parameters obtained using the three contrast doses. Finally, a significant relationship was observed between left ventricular opacification parameters and pulmonary pressures and left ventricular functional parameters, irrespective of the contrast doses considered. CONCLUSIONS. The results we obtained demonstrate the good overall efficacy of Albunex® administered intravenously in order to obtain left ventricular opacification in a clinical population of cardiac patients. Moreover, they suggest that the dosage to be used clinically should preferably be at least 0.20 ml/kg, although no significant influence of contrast dosage on videodensitometric parameters has been observed. Finally, irrespective of the contrast dosage, the magnitude of left ventricular opacification appears to be influenced by the hemodynamic status of the patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-629
Number of pages10
JournalGiornale Italiano di Cardiologia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999


  • 2-D Echocardiography
  • Echocontrast
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Ventricular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Left ventricular opacification by intravenous contrast echocardiography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this