Super-Resolution Ultrasound Imaging Can Quantify Alterations in Microbubble Velocities in the Renal Vasculature of Rats

Sofie Bech Andersen*, Iman Taghavi, Stinne Byrholdt Søgaard, Carlos Armando Villagómez Hoyos, Michael Bachmann Nielsen, Jørgen Arendt Jensen, Charlotte Mehlin Sørensen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Super-resolution ultrasound imaging, based on the localization and tracking of single intravascular microbubbles, makes it possible to map vessels below 100 µm. Microbubble velocities can be estimated as a surrogate for blood velocity, but their clinical potential is unclear. We investigated if a decrease in microbubble velocity in the arterial and venous beds of the renal cortex, outer medulla, and inner medulla was detectable after intravenous administration of the α1-adrenoceptor antagonist prazosin. The left kidneys of seven rats were scanned with superresolution ultrasound for 10 min before, during, and after prazosin administration using a bk5000 ultrasound scanner and hockey-stick probe. The super-resolution images were manually segmented, separating cortex, outer medulla, and inner medulla. Microbubble tracks from arteries/arterioles were separated from vein/venule tracks using the arterial blood flow direction. The mean microbubble velocities from each scan were compared. This showed a significant prazosin-induced velocity decrease only in the cortical arteries/arterioles (from 1.59 ± 0.38 to 1.14 ± 0.31 to 1.18 ± 0.33 mm/s, p = 0.013) and outer medulla descending vasa recta (from 0.70 ± 0.05 to 0.66 ± 0.04 to 0.69 ± 0.06 mm/s, p = 0.026). Conclusively, super-resolution ultrasound imaging makes it possible to detect and differentiate microbubble velocity responses to prazosin simultaneously in the renal cortical and medullary vascular beds.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1111
Issue number5
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Contrast-enhanced ultrasound
  • Ultrasound localization microscopy
  • Kidneys
  • Microvascular flow
  • Sprague Dawley rats
  • Prazosin


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