Differentiation of Vascular Characteristics Using Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging

Mairead Butler, Antonios Perperidis, Jean-Luc Matteo Zahra, Nadia Silva, Michalakis Averkiou, W. Colin Duncan, Alan McNeilly, Vassilis Sboros

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Ultrasound contrast imaging has been used to assess tumour growth and regression by assessing the flow through the macro- and micro-vasculature. Our aim was to differentiate the blood kinetics of vessels such as veins, arteries and microvasculature within the limits of the spatial resolution of contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging. The highly vascularised ovine ovary was used as a biological model. Perfusion of the ovary with SonoVue was recorded with a Philips iU22 scanner in contrast imaging mode. One ewe was treated with prostaglandin to induce vascular regression. Time-intensity curves (TIC) for different regions of interest were obtained, a lognormal model was fitted and flow parameters calculated. Parametric maps of the whole imaging plane were generated for 2 × 2 pixel regions of interest. Further analysis of TICs from selected locations helped specify parameters associated with differentiation into four categories of vessels (arteries, veins, medium-sized vessels and micro-vessels). Time-dependent parameters were associated with large veins, whereas intensity-dependent parameters were associated with large arteries. Further development may enable automation of the technique as an efficient way of monitoring vessel distributions in a clinical setting using currently available scanners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2444-2455
Number of pages12
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number9
Early online date15 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • Capillary
  • Contrast agent
  • Microbubble
  • Ultrasound
  • Vessel imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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    Butler, M., Perperidis, A., Zahra, J-L. M., Silva, N., Averkiou, M., Duncan, W. C., McNeilly, A., & Sboros, V. (2019). Differentiation of Vascular Characteristics Using Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 45(9), 2444-2455. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2019.05.015