Dose-dependent disintegration of human endothelial monolayers by contrast echocardiography
Nixdorff, U × Schmidt, A Morant, T Stilianakis, N Voigt, Jens-Uwe Flachskampf, FA Daniel, WG Garlichs, CD #
Life Sciences vol:77 issue:13 pages:1493-1501
Biological effects on endothelium. induced by contrast ultrasound (US) may be relevant for transferring drugs into the tissue. An in vitro tissue-mimicking phantom was developed to simulate clinical precordial echocardiography of three modalities (two-dimensional (2DE), pulsed wave (PW), and Power Doppler echocardiography) with gradual increases of acoustic output (mechanical index (MI) 0.0-1.6 and thermal index soft tissue (TIS) 0.0-1.3, respectively; transmit-frequency 1.8 MHz in second harmonic mode (SHI) by 2DE, 1.8 MHz for PW-Doppler, and 3.2 MHz for Power Doppler) as well as contrast agent (CA) concentrations (0.002-4 mg/mL Levovist (R)). Disintegration of the endothelial monolayer was quantitatively analyzed by counting intercellular gaps in light microscopy. No gaps were observed in CA application without sonication. Only few gaps appeared at sonication without CA application in 2DE at MI=1.6 and in PW- and Power Doppler at TIS >= 0.4 and MI >= 0.4. The number of gaps increased significantly with the gradual increase of US output and to a comparably lesser but also significant extent with CA concentrations. Diagnostic contrast echocardiography may induce endothelial disintegrations dependent on US output as well as on CA concentrations. This aspect might be helpful in further in vivo series on local drug delivery. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.