Adding blood to agitated saline significantly improves detection of right-to-left shunt by contrast-transcranial color-coded duplex sonography.

Abstract

Contrast-transcranial Doppler and contrast-transcranial color-coded duplex sonography (c-TCCD) have been reported to have high sensitivity in detecting patent foramen ovale as compared with transesophageal echocardiography. An international consensus meeting (Jauss and Zanette 2000) recommended that the contrast agent for right-to left-shunt (RLS) detection using contrast-transcranial Doppler be prepared by mixing 9 mL of isotonic saline solution and 1 mL of air. The aim of our study was to determine whether adding blood to the contrast agent results in improved detection of RLS. We enrolled all consecutive patients admitted to our neurosonology laboratory for RLS diagnosis. For each patient, we performed c-TCCD both at rest and during the Valsalva maneuver using two different contrast agents: ANSs (1 mL of air mixed with 9 mL of normal saline) and ANSHBs (1 mL of air mixed with 8 mL of normal saline and 1 mL of the patient's blood). To classify RLS, we used a four-level visual categorization: (i) no occurrence of micro-embolic signals; (ii) grade I, 1-10 signals; (iii) grade II, >10 signals but no curtain; grade III, curtain pattern. We included 80 patients, 33 men and 47 women. RLS was detected in 18.8% at rest and in 35% during the Valsalva maneuver using ANSs, and in 31.3% and in 46.3% using ANSHBs, respectively (p < 0.0001). There was a statistically significant increase in the number of micro-embolic signals with the use of ANSHBs. The use of blood mixed with saline solution and air as a c-TCCD contrast agent produced an increase in positive tests and a higher grade of RLS compared with normal saline and air alone, either with or without the Valsalva maneuver.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2014.06.017

Cite this paper

@article{Gentile2014AddingBT, title={Adding blood to agitated saline significantly improves detection of right-to-left shunt by contrast-transcranial color-coded duplex sonography.}, author={Mauro Gentile and Alessandro De Vito and Cristiano Azzini and Carmine Tamborino and Ilaria Casetta}, journal={Ultrasound in medicine & biology}, year={2014}, volume={40 11}, pages={2637-41} }