RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. A thrombus-specific ultrasound contrast agent, MRX-408, has been developed recently. This agent consists of phospholipid- coated microbubbles with a ligand capable of targeting the GPIIb/IIIa receptor, thereby allowing the microbubbles to bind with thrombi rich in activated platelets. In vitro and in vivo animal experiments have been conducted to examine imaging enhancement and sonothrombolysis using this agent compared with a nontargeted agent. METHODS. For clot binding, blood- smeared slides were incubated with microbubbles and examined under a light microscope. Change in backscatter signals from the blood clots after binding was examined by both an ultrasound scanner and two single-element transducers arranged in a transmitter-receiver pair. For clot lysis, either 1-MHz or 20- KHz ultrasound was used to enhance the lysing effects of MRX-408 with or without urokinase. RESULTS. Evidence of binding was demonstrated under a microscope. In vitro experiments showed that the 'acoustic signature,' or properties, of blood clots changed after binding. Clots became more echogenic and nonlinear. In vivo fundamental ultrasound imaging confirmed that as a result of binding, blood clots were more visible, the area of detection was improved, and shadowing behind clots was more noticeable. Under 1-MHz ultrasound and 30 minutes of treatment, lysis efficiency reached 34% with MRX-408, whereas there was no visible clot lysis with saline. CONCLUSION. The results of these preliminary studies show that as a contrast agent, MRX-408 enhanced clots under ultrasound imaging and facilitated sonothrombolysis with or without thrombolytic drugs.
- Contrast agent
- Drug delivery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging