To our knowledge, this is the first book dealing exclusively with myocardial contrast two-dimensional echocardiography (MC-2DE), a new and exciting diagnostic methodology for assessment of myocardial perfusion, which has seen rapid development and has now entered the clinical stage. The experi mental research and human applications have been described in technical papers published in a variety of journals, but our objective is to provide the reader with a comprehensive and concentrated overview of the field and of the current state of the art. To facilitate appreciation of the significant ad vances made and issues yet to be resolved, we are pleased to have several well known specialists contribute their own assessment of specific aspects of MC- 20E and illustrate the method's principles as well as applications. We were faced with inevitable overlaps and some repetitions in the discussion of quan titative potentials or limilations of the methodology. Rather than strictly 'streamlining' the text, we decided to accept some redundancy in the interest of presenting a diversity of points of views, reflecting the current evolutionary state of MC-20E. Following a brief reference to the established clinical contrast echocardiog raphy, recent developments and validations of the specialized MC-2DE tech nique are reviewed, bearing in mind that the field is in a flux and some of the ongoing activities have not as yet been formally reported. Mechanisms of the echo contrast and several new agents are decribed next, and an additional chapter illustrates current thoughts-on optimizing the echo contrast medium.
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