Skip to main content

Table 2 Research utility of IVUS imaging. Advantages and disadvantages.

From: Focus on the research utility of intravascular ultrasound - comparison with other invasive modalities

  IVUS imaging advantages IVUS imaging disadvantages Preferable modality
Assessment of the effect of pharmacological treatment • Able to quantify changes in plaque volume
• IVUS-RF allows identification and quantification of changes in plaque's composition
• IVUS-RF identifies with moderate sensitivity/specificity a change from lipid to a fibrous plaque IVUS
Remodelling assessment • Complete arterial wall visualisation • Unable to identify accurately the outer vessel wall border in segments with calcified plaques. IVUS
Plaque characterisation • Complete vessel wall visualisation
• IVUS-RF allows identification of the type of the plaque with good overall sensitivity and specificity
• IVUS-RF identifies with moderate sensitivity/specificity lipid and fibrous plaques IVUS-RF and OCT
Detection of vulnerable plaque • Accurate measurement of luminal dimensions, plaque area and remodelling
• IVUS-RF allows identification of the type of the plaque with good overall sensitivity and specificity
• Limited axial resolution - unable to measure the fibrous cap
• Moderate sensitivity in detecting thrombus and plaque disruption/erosion
• Unable to detect macrophages or intraplaque haemorrhage
OCT and IVUS-RF or combination of different imaging modalities
Assessment of invasive treatments • Reliable assessment of luminal, stent area and intima hyperplasia
• Precise evaluation of stent expansion
• Reliable evaluation of bioabsorbable stent recoil
• Limited capability in identifying vessel wall trauma (e.g. erosion, dissection) and thrombus
• Incapable of assessing stent struts coverage
OCT or combination of OCT and IVUS
Role of heamodynamics in atherosclerosis • Complete vessel visualisation - plaque characterisation
• Multitude of automated methodologies that allows IVUS segmentation and fusion of IVUS and angiography
• Limited capability in detecting vulnerable plaque characteristics IVUS
  1. IVUS, intravascular ultrasound; RF, radiofrequency analysis; OCT, optical coherence tomography; NIRS, near infrared spectroscopy.