Multiphoton imaging of ultrasound/Optison mediated cerebrovascular effects in vivo

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2007 Feb;27(2):393-403. doi: 10.1038/sj.jcbfm.9600336. Epub 2006 May 10.


Ultrasound (US) enhanced with microbubble contrast agents may transiently disrupt the blood-brain barrier (BBB) with minimal damage, providing a technique for noninvasive, localized drug-delivery deep within the brain. The mechanism and temporal profile of disruption are not understood, owing to the limitations of imaging modalities used previously. In this study, we monitored US-induced BBB disruption with multiphoton microscopy, providing high-resolution temporal and spatial information about the permeabilization mechanism and immediate effects of US exposure. Anesthetized C57 mice were prepared with a craniotomy and injected intravenously with fluorescent dyes to permit visualization of the vasculature and BBB integrity. The animals were imaged through a cranial window while exposed to low-intensity US (f=1.029 MHz, power=0.2 W) with a coincident intravenous injection of Optison (a microbubble contrast agent). We observed arteriolar vasoconstriction on US exposure that disrupted blood flow and lasted up to 5 mins; BBB disruption occurred via two characteristically distinct processes-perivascular fluorescence gradually increased (over minutes) along the length of the affected vessel without apparent rupture of the vessel wall or rapidly (seconds) increased in select, focal regions. These data corroborated previous studies suggesting increased endothelial transcytosis and breached tight junctions and demonstrated vasoconstriction, which might alter BBB permeability by modifying cerebral blood flow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albumins* / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / radiation effects
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / radiation effects*
  • Contrast Media*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Fluorocarbons* / chemistry
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence, Multiphoton
  • Ultrasonics
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / diagnostic imaging
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / pathology


  • Albumins
  • Contrast Media
  • FS 069
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Fluorocarbons
  • perflutren