Emergency and critical care applications for contrast-enhanced ultrasound.

TitleEmergency and critical care applications for contrast-enhanced ultrasound.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKummer T, Oh L, Phelan MBeth, Huang RD, Nomura JT, Adhikari S
JournalAm J Emerg Med
Date Published2018 Jul
ISSN Number1532-8171
KeywordsContrast Media, Critical Care, Emergency Medical Services, Humans, Point-of-Care Systems, Ultrasonography

INTRODUCTION: Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) using intravascular microbubbles has potential to revolutionize point-of-care ultrasonography by expanding the use of ultrasonography into clinical scenarios previously reserved for computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging, or angiography.

METHODS: We performed a literature search and report clinical experience to provide an introduction to CEUS and describe its current applications for point-of-care indications.

RESULTS: The uses of CEUS include several applications highly relevant for emergency medicine, such as solid-organ injuries, actively bleeding hematomas, or abdominal aortic aneurysms. Compared with CT as the preeminent advanced imaging modality in the emergency department, CEUS is low cost, radiation sparing, repeatable, and readily available. It does not require sedation, preprocedural laboratory assessment, or transportation to the radiology suite.

CONCLUSIONS: CEUS is a promising imaging technique for point-of-care applications in pediatric and adult patients and can be applied for patients with allergy to CT contrast medium or with impaired renal function. More high-quality CEUS research focusing on accuracy, patient safety, health care costs, and throughput times is needed to validate its use in emergency and critical care settings.

Alternate JournalAm J Emerg Med
PubMed ID29716799
Faculty Reference: 
Srikar Adhikari, MD, MS, FACEP