Contrast unavailability in U.S. harms diagnostic ultrasound

December 1, 2005

"We have so many CT and MR machines in the U.S. providing quick, easy, and efficient imaging that it's hard for ultrasound to compete, especially when it comes down to physicians' time.

"We have so many CT and MR machines in the U.S. providing quick, easy, and efficient imaging that it's hard for ultrasound to compete, especially when it comes down to physicians' time.

"I don't think any radiologist would be happy to give a final diagnosis on metastatic disease in the liver using CT or MRI without a contrast agent. We do not have the advantage of using contrast agents with ultrasound in this country, since they have not been approved by the FDA.

"Having contrast agents readily available will help improve ultrasound's diagnostic capabilities in many ways, including bedside imaging of patients who cannot be transported. One of the AIUM's new initiatives is to work with the FDA to accelerate the approval process."

-Lennard Greenbaum, M.D., president of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, speaking at the AIUM meeting in June