The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1476-7120-10-29) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interest.
SCW designed the experiments, performed statistical analyses, and drafted the MS. SA performed the myobath and immunohistochemical procedures. RB assisted with experimental design and US exposures. JC helped conceive the project and revised the MS. EAG constructed the US exposure device, US calibrations, US exposure. YL and SM assisted with the US exposures. GRH designed and calibrated the US exposure device. GRH also assisted with the US exposures. VMH and QZ assisted with the experimental design. All authors read and approved the manuscript.
Ultrasound (US) imaging can be enhanced using gas-filled microbubble contrast agents. Strong echo signals are induced at the tissue-gas interface following microbubble collapse. Applications include assessment of ventricular function and virtual histology.
While ultrasound and US contrast agents are widely used, their impact on the physiological response of vascular tissue to vasoactive agents has not been investigated in detail.
In the present study, rat dorsal aortas were treated with US via a clinical imaging transducer in the presence or absence of the US contrast agent, Optison. Aortas treated with both US and Optison were unable to contract in response to phenylephrine or to relax in the presence of acetylcholine. Histology of the arteries was unremarkable. When the treated aortas were stained for endothelial markers, a distinct loss of endothelium was observed. Importantly, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick-end-labeling (TUNEL) staining of treated aortas demonstrated incipient apoptosis in the endothelium.
Taken together, these ex vivo results suggest that the combination of US and Optison may alter arterial integrity and promote vascular injury; however, the in vivo interaction of Optison and ultrasound remains an open question.
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- Effects of ultrasound and ultrasound contrast agent on vascular tissue
Steven C Wood
Ronald P Brown
Edward A Gordon
Victoria M Hitchins
Gerald R Harris
- BioMed Central
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