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Intravascular ultrasound as an adjunct tool for angiographically intermediate lesions and complex coronary interventions: patient selection and perspectives

Authors Im E, Kim J, Hong M

Received 1 June 2015

Accepted for publication 15 October 2015

Published 23 November 2015 Volume 2015:3 Pages 41—51

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JVD.S86020

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Deipolyi

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Rahmi Oklu


Eui Im,1 Jung-Sun Kim,2,3 Myeong-Ki Hong2–4

1Division of Cardiology, Yongin Severance Hospital, Yonsei University Health System, Yongin, 2Division of Cardiology, Severance Cardiovascular Hospital, Yonsei University Health System, 3Cardiovascular Research Institute, 4Severance Biomedical Science Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract: Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) provides valuable anatomic information about the coronary arterial lumen, wall, and plaques that cannot be assessed by coronary angiography alone. For over 2 decades, IVUS has been shown to be a helpful tool for identifying significant ischemia in angiographically intermediate left main (LM) or non-LM lesions by measuring the minimum luminal area. It can also guide percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in complex coronary lesions such as LM, bifurcation, chronic total occlusion, in-stent restenosis, and long or calcified lesions. In these complex lesions, IVUS can reduce stent thrombosis or restenosis by accurate lesion assessment and detection of stent underexpansion, malapposition, or edge dissections. Through further intervention based on these IVUS findings, optimal stent deployment can be achieved. IVUS can also identify the culprit lesion with plaque rupture, and vulnerable lesions with a large plaque burden or thin-cap fibroatheroma. Although other new imaging modalities with improved resolution and technologies are attracting increased clinical attention, IVUS remains the most reliable intracoronary imaging modality to guide PCI until other new imaging devices are proven to be useful and improve clinical outcomes. However, current data on clinical utility are conflicting and the guidelines do not recommend routine use of IVUS when performing angiography or PCI. In this review, we focus on issues related to the selection of patients who might benefit from IVUS guidance and discuss future perspectives on intracoronary imaging.

Keywords: intravascular ultrasound, angiography, coronary artery disease

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