Super-resolution ultrasound microvascular imaging: Is it ready for clinical use?

Pengfei Song, Jonathan M. Rubin, Matthew R. Lowerison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The field of super-resolution ultrasound microvascular imaging has been rapidly growing over the past decade. By leveraging contrast microbubbles as point targets for localization and tracking, super-resolution ultrasound pinpoints the location of microvessels and measures their blood flow velocity. Super-resolution ultrasound is the first in vivo imaging modality that can image micron-scale vessels at a clinically relevant imaging depth without tissue destruction. These unique capabilities of super-resolution ultrasound provide structural (vessel morphology) and functional (vessel blood flow) assessments of tissue microvasculature on a global and local scale, which opens new doors for many enticing preclinical and clinical applications that benefit from microvascular biomarkers. The goal of this short review is to provide an update on recent advancements in super-resolution ultrasound imaging, with a focus on summarizing existing applications and discussing the prospects of translating super-resolution imaging to clinical practice and research. In this review, we also provide brief introductions of how super-resolution ultrasound works, how does it compare with other imaging modalities, and what are the tradeoffs and limitations for an audience who is not familiar with the technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-323
Number of pages15
JournalZeitschrift fur Medizinische Physik
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Microvascular imaging
  • Super-resolution
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound localization microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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