Quantifying diaphragm perfusion in humans: A novel application of contrast-enhanced ultrasound
As oxygen demand increases (e.g., exercise), the availability of oxygen decreases (e.g., high altitude) or cardiopulmonary function is impaired (e.g., respiratory disease), our cardiopulmonary system works at a greater percentage of its maximal capacity to supply oxygenated blood to tissues. Currently, there is no reliable way of determining the blood flow to the respiratory muscles. The current technique (near-infrared spectroscopy with injectable dyes) has conflicting data and limitations which hinders our understanding of respiratory muscle blood flow. We aim to develop, validate, and assess the reliability of blood flow within the respiratory muscles using ultrasound with an injectable contrast agent. This project is expected to benefit Kent Imaging Inc. as it develops video analysis of blood flow which might be able to be applied to future medical imaging devices.