Quantitative echo contrast concentration measurement by Doppler sonography

Ultrasound Med Biol. 1993;19(4):289-97. doi: 10.1016/0301-5629(93)90101-s.


The hypothesis investigated in this study is that Doppler ultrasound can be used to make quantitative echo contrast concentration measurements in flow systems. Our motivation was to demonstrate the utility and some of the pitfalls of using scattered ultrasound intensity to quantify echo contrast in chambers and vessels. Doppler ultrasound was used rather than conventional imaging techniques because of its natural association with the assessment of flow in chambers and vessels. We compared the intensity of audio Doppler to various steady-state concentrations echo contrast in a carefully controlled in vitro flow system. A total of 62 paired audio Doppler intensity and echo contrast concentration measurements were made. A weak positive correlation was found between the absolute echo contrast concentration and audio Doppler intensity (r = 0.510, p = 0.001). The correlation was weak because of the many unknowns and effervescent nature of microbubble echo contrast agents. However, audio Doppler intensity was shown to correlate strongly with the relative concentration of echo contrast over short time periods (r = 0.958, p = 0.0001). The results show that Doppler intensity can be used to quantitatively measure the relative, but not the absolute concentration of echo contrast in in vitro flow systems.

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods*
  • Humans
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Polysaccharides


  • Contrast Media
  • Polysaccharides
  • SHU 508