The goal of the work described here was to assess the safety profile of intravenous second-generation ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) containing sulfur hexafluoride in pediatric contrast-enhanced ultrasound. Between 2010 and 2013, a total of 167 examinations were performed in 137 children referred by the Oncology Department. Approval by an Independent Ethical Review Board on Scientific Research for the intravenous use of an UCA containing sulfur hexafluoride in children with oncologic diseases was obtained. Consent for UCA administration was acquired from the parents or legal guardians. Severe anaphylactic reaction was observed in 0.6% (n = 1). No other adverse events during or after intravenous administration of contrast were observed in the examined group (no changes in heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen saturation or respiratory rate). There were no reports of subjective flushing, nausea, transient headaches or altered taste. Although second-generation ultrasound contrast agents are considered potentially safe, all investigators should be prepared for the development of adverse reactions and have provisions in place for all pediatric intravenous contrast-enhanced ultrasound examinations. More multicenter studies are essential to determination of an accurate UCA safety profile.
Keywords: Adverse event; Children; Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; Safety; Ultrasound; Ultrasound contrast agent.
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