Therapeutic application of contrast ultrasound in ST elevation myocardial infarction: Role in coronary thrombosis and microvascular obstruction

Jeroen Slikkerveer, Lynda Jm Juffermans, Niels van Royen, Yolande Appelman, Thomas R Porter, Otto Kamp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In the past few decades, cardiac ultrasound has become a widely available, easy-to-use diagnostic tool in many scenarios in acute cardiac care. The introduction of microbubbles extended its diagnostic value. Not long thereafter, several investigators explored the therapeutic potential of contrast ultrasound on thrombus dissolution. Despite large improvements in therapeutic options, acute ST elevation myocardial infarction remains one of the main causes of mortality and morbidity in the western world. The therapeutic effect of contrast ultrasound on thrombus dissolution might prove to be a new, effective treatment strategy in this group of patients. With the recent publication of human studies scrutinising the therapeutic options of ultrasound and microbubbles in ST elevation myocardial infarction, we have entered a new stage in this area of research. This therapeutic effect is based on biochemical effects both at macrovascular and microvascular levels, of which the exact working mechanisms remain to be elucidated in full. This review will give an up-to-date summary of our current knowledge of the therapeutic effects of contrast ultrasound and its potential application in the field of ST elevation myocardial infarction, along with its future developments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean heart journal. Acute cardiovascular care
Issue number1
Early online date1 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Journal Article
  • ST elevation myocardial infarction
  • coronary thrombosis
  • echocardiography
  • microbubbles
  • microvascular obstruction

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