E-mail Form
Email Results

 
 
Print-Friendly
Bookmarks
bookmarks-menu

Intravascular ultrasound

IVUS; Ultrasound - coronary artery; Endovascular ultrasound; Intravascular echocardiography

Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is a diagnostic test. This test uses sound waves to see inside blood vessels. It is useful for evaluating the coronary arteries that supply the heart.

Description

A tiny ultrasound wand is attached to the top of a thin tube. This tube is called a catheter. The catheter is inserted into an artery in your groin area and moved up to the heart. It is different from conventional Duplex ultrasound. Duplex ultrasound is done from the outside of your body by placing the transducer on the skin.

A computer measures how the sound waves reflect off blood vessels, and changes the sound waves into pictures. IVUS gives the health care provider a look at your coronary arteries from the inside-out.

IVUS is almost always done during a procedure. Reasons why it may be done include:

Angiography gives a general look at the coronary arteries. However, it can't show the walls of the arteries. IVUS images show the artery walls and can reveal cholesterol and fat deposits (plaques). Buildup of these deposits can increase your risk of a heart attack.

IVUS has helped providers understand how stents become clogged. This is called stent restenosis.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

IVUS is commonly done to make sure a stent is correctly placed during angioplasty. It may also be done to determine where a stent should be placed.

IVUS may also be used to:

  • View the aorta and structure of the artery walls, which can show plaque buildup
  • Find which blood vessel is involved in aortic dissection

Risks

There is a slight risk of complications with angioplasty and cardiac catheterization. However, the tests are very safe when done by an experienced team. IVUS adds little additional risk.

Risks of anesthesia and surgery in general are:

  • Reactions to medicines
  • Breathing problems
  • Bleeding, blood clots
  • Infection

Other risks include:

  • Damage to a heart valve or blood vessel
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Kidney failure (a higher risk in people who already have kidney problems or diabetes)
  • Stroke (this is rare)

After the Procedure

After the test, the catheter is completely removed. A bandage is placed on the area. You will be asked to lie flat on your back with pressure on your groin area for a few hours after the test to prevent bleeding.

If IVUS was done during:

  • Cardiac catheterization: You will stay in the hospital for about 3 to 6 hours.
  • Angioplasty: You will stay in the hospital for 12 to 24 hours.

The IVUS does not add to the time you must stay in the hospital.

References

Honda Y, Fitzgerald PJ, Yock PG. Intravascular ultrasound. In: Topol EJ, Teirstein PS, eds. Textbook of Interventional Cardiology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 60.

Yammine H, Ballast JK, Arko FR. Intravascular ultrasound. In: Sidawy AN, Perler BA, eds. Rutherford's Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 30.

  • Anterior heart arteries

    Anterior heart arteries - illustration

    The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. The right coronary artery supplies both the left and the right heart; the left coronary artery supplies the left heart.

    Anterior heart arteries

    illustration

  • Conduction system of the heart

    Conduction system of the heart - illustration

    The intrinsic conduction system sets the basic rhythm of the beating heart by generating impulses which stimulate the heart to contract.

    Conduction system of the heart

    illustration

  • Coronary angiography

    Coronary angiography - illustration

    Coronary angiography is performed to detect obstruction in the coronary arteries of the heart. During the procedure a catheter (thin flexible tube) is inserted into an artery in your arm or groin and then threaded carefully into the heart. The blood vessels of the heart are then studied by injection of contrast media through the catheter. A rapid succession of X-rays (fluoroscopy) is taken to view blood flow.

    Coronary angiography

    illustration

    • Anterior heart arteries

      Anterior heart arteries - illustration

      The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. The right coronary artery supplies both the left and the right heart; the left coronary artery supplies the left heart.

      Anterior heart arteries

      illustration

    • Conduction system of the heart

      Conduction system of the heart - illustration

      The intrinsic conduction system sets the basic rhythm of the beating heart by generating impulses which stimulate the heart to contract.

      Conduction system of the heart

      illustration

    • Coronary angiography

      Coronary angiography - illustration

      Coronary angiography is performed to detect obstruction in the coronary arteries of the heart. During the procedure a catheter (thin flexible tube) is inserted into an artery in your arm or groin and then threaded carefully into the heart. The blood vessels of the heart are then studied by injection of contrast media through the catheter. A rapid succession of X-rays (fluoroscopy) is taken to view blood flow.

      Coronary angiography

      illustration


     

    Review Date: 6/10/2018

    Reviewed By: Deepak Sudheendra, MD, FSIR, RPVI, Assistant Professor of Interventional Radiology & Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, with an expertise in Vascular Interventional Radiology & Surgical Critical Care, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
    adam.com

     
     
     

     

     

    A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.
    Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.