The assessment of myocardial blood velocity using ultrasonic contrast agents is based on the premise that the vast majority of contrast microbubbles within a myocardial region can be destroyed by an acoustic pulse of sufficient magnitude. Determination of the period of time after destruction that a region of myocardium needs to reperfuse may be used to assess myocardial blood velocity. In this study, we investigated the acoustic pressure sensitivity of three solutions of intravenous fluorocarbon-filled contrast agents and the magnitude of acoustic pulse required to destroy the contrast agent microbubbles. A novel tissue-mimicking phantom was designed and manufactured to investigate the relationships between mean integrated backscatter, incident acoustic pressure and number of frames of insonation for three fluorocarbon-filled contrast agents (Definity(R), Optison(R), and Sonazoid(R), formerly NC100100), Using a routine clinical ultrasound (US) scanner (Acuson XP-10), modified to allow access to the unprocessed US data, the contrast agents were scanned at the four acoustic output powers. All three agents initially demonstrated a linear relationship between mean integrated backscatter and number of frames of insonation. For all three agents, mean integrated backscatter decreased more rapidly at higher acoustic pressures, suggesting a more rapid destruction of the microbubbles, In spite of the fact that there was no movement of microbubbles into or out of the beam, only the results from Definity(R) suggested that a complete destruction of the contrast agent microbubbles had occurred within the total duration of insonation in this study, (C) 2000 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.