Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 176–184 | Cite as

Molecular ultrasound imaging and its potential for paediatric radiology

  • Isabel Kiessling
  • Jessica Bzyl
  • Fabian Kiessling


US is a low-cost, real-time imaging modality that is the most used diagnostic tool in paediatric radiology. Reasons include the improved US image quality in children as compared to adults and the demand for avoiding X-rays as much as possible because children are more sensitive to radiation than adults. Stabilized microbubbles have been approved as US contrast agents for adults and show great potential in improving the diagnostic accuracy for many diseases. Initial studies show that in paediatric radiology contrast-enhanced US could also be beneficial for more than just the diagnosis of vesicoureteral reflux, if US contrast agents were approved for children. Molecular US imaging utilizes microbubbles conjugated to biomolecules that target intravascular disease-specific molecules. Many preclinical studies show that molecular US imaging is a highly sensitive tool to detect neovascularisation, inflammation and cardiovascular diseases. Its main advantages are the higher informative value, the longer persistence of the label at the target lesion and the chance to work with lower contrast agent dosages. Now, clinical translation of molecular US appears at the horizon. This review article reports on the current status of molecular US imaging and discusses its potential for paediatric radiology.


Molecular imaging Microbubble US KDR Integrin Child 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Kiessling
    • 1
  • Jessica Bzyl
    • 2
  • Fabian Kiessling
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyRWTH-Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Molecular ImagingRWTH-Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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