Three-year grant to fund CHOP study of contrast ultrasound

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Research is continuing on the use of contrast ultrasound for pediatric patients, through a grant received by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The facility is using the imaging technology for various purposes, including interventional procedures for children. The relatively new technology was approved for use by children only two years ago.

The $300,000 grant—from Bracco Diagnostics—will be used to fund further research and education of physicians and technologists on its use.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) says it’s among the first pediatric hospitals in the country to use the technology, which it contends rates high marks in patient and family satisfaction.

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“The advancement of pediatric imaging through contrast ultrasound at CHOP currently has no match, both internationally and nationally,” says Kassa Darge, MD, radiologist in chief at the facility. “We use contrast ultrasound for multiple indications. It’s non-invasive or less invasive (than other imaging procedures) fast and with better diagnostic results.”

The technology uses tiny gas-filled microbubbles that are administered into the body via different routes. It can replicate magnetic resonance (MR) imaging using an ultrasound transducer. The benefit to the patient is greater diagnostic capability without radiation and need for sedation, and it costs only a fraction of the price of MR imaging.

The 3-year grant will be used to fund an educational program within the Department of Radiology's new Center for Pediatric Contrast Ultrasound. Physicians and technologists will attend training seminars meant to replicate a patient visit, learn to use and read the contrast ultrasound, and analyze case studies.

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