Measurement of left ventricular volumes and ejection fraction after intravenous contrast agent administration using standard echocardiographic equipment

András Nagy, Sarolta Borbás, Mária Lengyel

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The enhancement of endocardial border delineation using second harmonic imaging and contrast administration improves the measurement of ventricular volumes. In the majority of existing echocardiographic equipment, however, harmonic imaging is not yet available. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of the measurement of left ventricular volumes and ejection fraction after intravenous administration of the contrast agent Levovist using standard echocardiographic equipment and fundamental imaging modality. In 10 patients with good-quality two-dimensional echo imaging, 4 g (400 mg/mL concentration) of Levovist was injected intravenously. Hewlett-Packard Sonos 2000 ultrasound equipment without second harmonic imaging capability was used. To avoid the destruction of microbubbles, the echo machine was set to produce only one end-systolic and one end-diastolic frame in each cardiac cycle (dual triggering). Native and contrast imaging measurements of left ventricular volumes and ejection fractions calculated by modified Simpson's rule were compared in the fundamental mode. Intraobserver and interobserver variability values were assessed. End-diastolic volumes in native continuous and triggered mode and by contrast echo were 126 ± 48, 121 ± 46, and 130 ± 50 mL, respectively (NS), whereas end-systolic volumes were 79 ± 48, 76 ± 45, and 79 ± 46 mL, respectively (NS). Calculated ejection fraction using the three different imaging modalities were 0.41 ± 0.16, 0.41 ± 0.16, and 0.42 ± 0.16 (NS). The intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility values were excellent in triggered mode. Standard echocardiographic equipment with fundamental imaging modality in the triggered mode is suitable for the measurement of left ventricular volumes after intravenous Levovist administration. In clinically difficult patients, contrast echocardiography in triggered mode may be applied even if echocardiographic equipment does not have harmonic imaging possibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-437
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Contrast echocardiography
  • Ejection fraction
  • Fundamental imaging
  • Left ventricular volumes
  • Triggered imaging

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