Contrast echocardiography guideline published

Published 15/11/2023

The British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) is delighted to announce the publication of a new contrast echocardiography guideline.

This 2023 guideline aims provides guidance for the use of ultrasound contrast agents in echocardiography, covering the types of contrast available, medicines legislation for administration, microbubble physics and contrast specific imaging techniques, routine and non-routine clinical applications, imaging artefacts, clinical safety of ultrasound contrast, training and accreditation requirements and how to successfully implement the guidance into everyday practice.

The guideline also aims to encourage echocardiographers to routinely perform contrast echocardiography where clinically indicated, give guidance to performing contrast studies safely, effectively and to a high standard. It will also equip members to set up services, representative of the unique UK workforce, that will enable routine clinical application of contrast echocardiography. 

This document has summarised all the evidence from previous international guidelines, incorporated the latest evidence base relating to safety and has elements to it that reflects practice specific to the UK, based on our unique workforce.

This guideline will be published in the BSE’s official journal, Echo Research and Practice. Reinette Hampson, Research and Education Physiologist Lead at London North West University Hospital NHS Trust and lead author said, "We are very excited and proud to be presenting guidance on the most current and contemporary practise in contrast echocardiography. Since ultrasound contrast was first approved in 2001 the clinical application of contrast, in many centres, have become routine practise. We hope that this document will help guide all members in how to safely and effectively apply this technique, based on clinical indications, to achieve high quality diagnostic results for ultimate improved patient outcome."

Dr Liam Ring, Co-Chair of Education for the Society said "We're extremely excited to present this guideline for our members. It is a comprehensive guide to using contrast in day to day practice, with practical tips on when to use contrast, how to optimise images, and ways in which we can integrate contrast use into the departmental workflow."

Read the guideline