Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is an invasive modality which provides cross-sectional images of a coronary artery. In these images both the lumen and outer vessel wall can be identified and accurate estimations of their dimensions and of the plaque burden can be obtained. In addition, further processing of the IVUS backscatter signal helps in the characterization of the type of the plaque and thus it has been used to study the natural history of the atherosclerotic evolution. On the other hand its indigenous limitations do not allow IVUS to assess accurately stent struts coverage, existence of thrombus or exact site of plaque rupture and to identify some of the features associated with increased plaque vulnerability. In order this information to be obtained, other modalities such as optical coherence tomography, angioscopy, near infrared spectroscopy and intravascular magnetic resonance imaging have either been utilized or are under evaluation. The aim of this review article is to present the current utilities of IVUS in research and to discuss its advantages and disadvantages over the other imaging techniques.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine