Myocardial transit time of the echocardiographic contrast media

Victor Mor-Avi, Solange Akselrod*, Daniel David, Laurence Keselbrener, Yves Bitton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mean transit time of a tracer through a sample of tissue is a quantitative marker most closely related to regional tissue blood flow. Therefore, an accurate estimation of the mean time of transit of an ultrasonic tracer through a sample of myocardial tissue, obtained by contrast echocardiography, may provide a quantitative noninvasive estimate of myocardial perfusion. We hereby present an algorithm for the determination of the mean transit time by computerized analysis of a series of contrast-enhanced echocardiographic images. The algorithm comprises the evaluation of the echocardiographic impulse response function of a selected region of interest, using a deconvolution technique based on a fast Fourier transform and a frequency domain division of the videointensities measured in the sample, by that measured in a predetermined reference region. An extensive computer simulation study was designed to facilitate the optimization of the steps of analysis. We present the results of the evaluation study performed in order to assess the accuracy of the procedure in computer-simulated echocardiographic images. Within a wide range of parameters chosen to define these functions, the analysis is shown to be essentially independent of the rise and decay times of the impulse response function of the tissue sample as well as of the simulated intensities. The effects of random noise introduced into the simulated intensity curves and of their variable width were investigated. The mean transit time was found to be accurately evaluated within about 10% of error for the variety of widths and noise levels permitted. The reconvolution error did not correlate with the accuracy of the evaluation of the mean transit time, indicating that the reconvolution error cannot be used as an estimate of the accuracy of the procedure. The numerical methods and the results of the computer study are discussed in detail. The approach is proposed to be used as part of a more general technique for the quantitative measurement of regional myocardial tissue blood flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-648
Number of pages14
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Contrast echocardiography
  • Deconvolution
  • Fast Fourier transform
  • Impulse response
  • Indicator dilution
  • Mean transit time
  • Myocardial perfusion


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