American Society of Echocardiography Consensus Statement on the Clinical Applications of Ultrasonic Contrast Agents in Echocardiography
Practice Guidelines as Topic
Upon completing this activity, participants will be able to: 1. Demonstrate an increased knowledge of the applications for contrast echocardiography and their impact on cardiac diagnosis. 2. Differentiate the available ultrasound contrast agents and ultrasound equipment imaging features to optimize their use. 3. Recognize the indications, benefits, and safety of ultrasound contrast agents, acknowledging the recent labeling changes by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding contrast agent use and safety information. 4. Identify specific patient populations that represent potential candidates for the use of contrast agents, to enable cost-effective clinical diagnosis. 5. Incorporate effective teamwork strategies for the implementation of contrast agents in the echocardiography laboratory and establish guidelines for contrast use. 6. Use contrast enhancement for endocardial border delineation and left ventricular opacification in rest and stress echocardiography and unique patient care environments in which echocardiographic image acquisition is frequently challenging, including intensive care units (ICUs) and emergency departments. 7. Effectively use contrast echocardiography for the diagnosis of intracardiac and extracardiac abnormalities, including the identification of complications of acute myocardial infarction. 8. Assess the common pitfalls in contrast imaging and use stepwise, guideline-based contrast equipment setup and contrast agent administration techniques to optimize image acquisition.