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Details for Patent: 5,393,524

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Details for Patent: 5,393,524

Title: Methods for selecting and using gases as ultrasound contrast media
Abstract:Disclosed herein are agents for enhancing the contrast in an ultrasound image. These agents are extremely small bubbles, or "microbubbles," comprised of specially selected gases. The microbubbles described herein exhibit long life spans in solution and may be produced at a size small enough to traverse the lungs, thus enabling improved ultrasound imaging of the cardiovascular system and other vital organs. Also disclosed herein is a method for selecting gases from which contrast agents may be produced. The method is based on calculations using inherent physical properties of gases and describes a means to associate the properties of a gas with the time for dissolution of a microbubble comprised of the gas.
Inventor(s): Quay; Steven C. (Los Angeles, CA)
Assignee: Sonus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Costa Mesa, CA)
Filing Date:Jun 04, 1993
Application Number:08/071,377
Claims:1. In a method comprising ultrasound imaging, the improvement comprising enhancing the contrast in an ultrasound image by selecting for use as an enhancing agent free gas microbubbles of a biocompatible fluorocarbon containing contrast-enhancing chemical,

said chemical as a gas having a Q coefficient greater than 30, where Q is the ratio of the persistence of microbubbles of said gas in an aqueous solution to the persistence of microbubbles of air in said solution.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the gas is hexafluoropropylene.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the gas is octafluoropropane.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein the gas is hexafluoroethane.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the gas is octafluoro-2-butene.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein the gas is hexafluoro-2-butyne.

7. The method of claim 1 wherein the gas is hexafluorobuta-1,3-diene.

8. The method of claim 1 wherein the gas is octafluorocyclobutane.

9. The method of claim 1 wherein the gas is decafluorobutane.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein the microbubbles are present in an aqueous sorbitol solution.

11. The method of claim 1 wherein the microbubbles are present in a solution to which a biocompatible substance has been added to increase the viscosity of the solution.

12. The method of claim 1 wherein the microbubbles are smaller than 8 microns.

13. In a method of ultrasound imaging, the improvement comprising the steps of:

providing a suspension of biocompatible free gas microbubbles of sulfur hexafluoride to an organism to be imaged; and

subjecting said organism to an ultrasound scan.
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