In viva tomographic assessment of the heart and blood vessels with intravascular ultrasound

G. Görge* (Corresponding Author), J. Ge, D. Baumgart, C. Von Birgelen, R. Erbel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Intravascular ultrasound (NUS) has emerged from being a research tool to becoming an intrinsic part of modern invasive cardiology mainly due to imaging micro anatomy in vivo. For the first time, it is possible to base therapeutic decisions not only on lumenograms but also on vessel wall assessment. IVUS has both diagnostic and intervention associated potential. The diagnostic strength of IVUS is its ability to describe compensatory coronary artery enlargement as a response to arteriosclerosis, to assess intermediate lesions, and to reveal occult left main stem disease and angiographically 'silent' arteriosclerosis. The intervention associated potential of IVUS is the optimal device selection, i.e., rotablators in calcified lesions or atherectomy devices in large plaque burden. The effects of PTCA on vessel wall morphology can be studied in great detail and the effect on luminal gain can be assessed. Several groups have shown that the residual plaque area ('plaque burden') even after angiographically successful PTCA still lies in the range of 60%. A significant reduction in this number may influence long-term outcome after PTCA. Minimal luminal area and residual plaque area after PTCA seem to be indicators of restenosis, while the presence or absence of dissections seems to be less predictive. The main mechanism of restenosis after PTCA is vessel shrinkage, not intimal hyperplasia. Intravascular monitoring of stent expansion led to high-pressure stent deployment with a significant increase in post-procedural luminal diameters and the ability to withhold anticoagulation in patients with optimal stent deployment. In pulmonary and aortic diseases, IVUS contributed significantly to the understanding of aortic dissection and pulmonary hypertension. Additionally, with intracardiac ultrasound left and right ventricular function can be assessed. Intracardiac ultrasound has gained clinical usefulness for guiding transcatheter ablation in patients with conduction system abnormalities. In the future, integrated devices, such as balloons on IVUS catheters, steerable catheters, integrated how and pressure transducers, tissue characterization, and 0.018@? IVUS guide wires will further enhance the usefulness of IVUS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-240
Number of pages22
JournalBasic research in cardiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic dissection
  • Intravascular ultrasound
  • PTCA
  • Pulmonary embolism

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