Contrast-enhanced endoscopic ultrasonography with galactose microparticles: SHU508 A (Levovist)

Endoscopy. 1997 Sep;29(7):635-9. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-1004270.


Background and study aims: To evaluate the utility of a suspension of galactose microparticles available as SHU508 A (Levovist) as a contrast agent during endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS).

Materials and methods: Three sets of experiments were performed on three 20-25 kg swine (Sus scrofa) under general anesthesia. Upper EUS was performed with an echo endoscope with color Doppler capability (Pentax FG-32 UA). The celiac artery, superior mesenteric artery, aorta, portal vein, pancreas, and gastrointestinal wall were imaged by EUS. Multiple intravenous bolus injections of 400 mg/ml of SHU508 A were made, and their effect on color Doppler and gray-scale imaging during EUS was studied.

Results: After contrast injection there was a significant, visually noticeable enhancement of the color Doppler signals from the celiac artery, superior mesenteric artery, and portal vein. Vessels with weak to no color Doppler signals before injection of SHU508 A--for example, the celiac artery and superior mesenteric artery--were observed to have strong color signals after injection. The effect of SHU508 A on color Doppler imaging was easily appreciated subjectively without the need for complex quantitative measurements. No visually noticeable color Doppler enhancement was seen in vessels such as the aorta that had a very pronounced color Doppler signal even prior to the injection of contrast. Movement of particulate matter was seen in the portal vein on the gray scale.

Conclusion: Intravenous SHU508 A as a contrast agent significantly enhances color Doppler signals during EUS. Vascualar contrast of this sort could potentially have a significant role in improving the accuracy of EUS in diagnosing malignant vascular invasion, the detection of occult pancreatic neoplasms, and the diagnosis of vascular thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Celiac Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Contrast Media*
  • Endosonography / methods*
  • Image Enhancement*
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior / diagnostic imaging
  • Polysaccharides*
  • Portal Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Swine
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color


  • Contrast Media
  • Polysaccharides
  • SHU 508