The safety and efficacy of SonoVue (also referred to as BR1), a new contrast agent for delineating endocardial border of the left ventricle after intravenous administration, was assessed. Two hundred and eighteen patients with suspected coronary artery disease undergoing fundamental echocardiography for the assessment of left ventricle were enrolled in a prospective multicenter, single blind, cross-over study with random sequence allocation of four different doses of SonoVue. Endocardial border definition in the apical and parasternal views was scored as 0 = not visible, 1 = barely visible, and 2 = well visualized before and after contrast enhancement. Analysis was performed by two pairs of off-site observers. Safety of SonoVue was also assessed. Results of our study indicated that the mean improvements in the endocardial border visualization score were as follows: 3.1 +/- 7.8 (95% CI, 2.5 and 3.7) for 0.5 ml, 3.4 +/- 8.0 (95% CI, 2.8 and 4.0) for 1 ml, 3.4 +/- 7.9 (95% CI, 2.8 and 4.0) for 2 ml, and 3.7 +/- 8.0 (95% CI, 3.1 and 4.3) for 4 ml (P < 0.05 for all doses from baseline). Changes from baseline in endocardial visualization scores were also seen in the apical views (P < 0.05) and they were dose-dependent (P < 0.001). Similar enhancements of endocardial visualization scores were observed in the apical views in patients with suboptimal baseline echocardiographic images. Diagnostic confidence for assigning a score and image quality also were significantly better following contrast enhancement. No significant changes in the laboratory parameters and vital signs were noted following contrast enhancement, and the side effects were minimal. It was concluded that SonoVue is safe and effective in delineating endocardial border, including in patients with suboptimal baseline images.