The efficacy of using subharmonic emissions from Sonazoid microbubbles (GE Healthcare, Oslo, Norway) to track portal vein pressures and pressure changes was investigated in 14 canines using either slow- or high-flow models of portal hypertension (PH). A modified Logiq 9 scanner (GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI, USA) operating in subharmonic mode (f(transmit): 2.5 MHz, f(receive): 1.25 MHz) was used to collect radiofrequency data at 10-40% incident acoustic power levels with 2-4 transmit cycles (in triplicate) before and after inducing PH. A pressure catheter (Millar Instruments, Inc., Houston, TX, USA) provided reference portal vein pressures. At optimum insonification, subharmonic signal amplitude changes correlated with portal vein pressure changes; r ranged from -0.82 to -0.94 and from -0.70 to -0.73 for PH models considered separately or together, respectively. The subharmonic signal amplitudes correlated with absolute portal vein pressures (r: -0.71 to -0.79). Statistically significant differences between subharmonic amplitudes, before and after inducing PH, were noted (p ≤ 0.01). Portal vein pressures estimated using subharmonic aided pressure estimation did not reveal significant differences (p > 0.05) with respect to the pressures obtained using the Millar pressure catheter. Subharmonic-aided pressure estimation may be useful clinically for portal vein pressure monitoring.
Copyright © 2012 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.