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Sonovue contrast agent

An introduction to contrast echocardiography

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LICENCE FOR USE: Europe, NOT United States
CONTENTS: Sulphur hexafluoride
STORAGE: No special precautions



SONOVUE comes boxed as a kit which includes:
  • 1 vial containing 25mg of lyophilised sulphur hexafluoride powder
  • 1 pre-filled syringe containing 5 ml sodium chloride (saline)
  • 1 Mini-Spike transfer system

The diagram illustrates the steps required to prepare SONOVUE:
  • 1. Connect the plunger rod by screwing it clockwise into the syringe
  • 2. Open the MiniSpike transfer system blister and remove syringe tip cap
  • 3. Open the transfer system cap and connect the syringe to the transfer system by screwing it in clockwise
  • 4. Remove Flipcap glass protective disk from the vial. Slide the vial into the transparent sleeve of the transfer system and press firmly to lock the vial in place
  • 5. Empty the contents of the syringe into the vial by pushing on the plunger rod
  • 6. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds to mix all the contents in the vial (white milky liquid)
  • 7. Invert the system and carefully withdraw SONOVUE into the syringe
  • 8. Unscrew the syringe from the transfer system
After reconstitution, a homogeneous white milky liquid is obtained. Chemical and physical stability of the microbubble dispersion has been demonstrated for 6 hours.


A) Bolus injection

  • 0.3ml of SONOVUE is aspirated from the system into a syringe
  • Inject contrast agent slowly followed by a 1-2ml saline flush
  • Ventricular opacification is noted within 5-10s of injection
  • Effective opacification usually persists for 30-90s
  • Repeated injections can be given if needed

B) Intravenous infusion

  • Bracco manufacture a specific pump which continuously oscillates and thus agitates the Sonovue suspension, preventing separation of contents
  • SONOVUE is aspirated from the vial into a specific 20ml syringe, which is then placed inside the pump and an infusion line is connected to the syringe
  • The pump oscillates for 90s during which time the suspension of contrast agent is agitated. The pump continues to oscillate after initial mixing is complete
  • The infusion rate can be controlled via the touchpad and increased/ decreased as necessary; as the rate is increased /decreased, the time remaining for contrast use is displayed and simultaneously shortens / lengthens (respectively)