Locations Main Campus: Chesterfield, MO 63017   |   Locations
314-434-1500 314-434-1500   |   Contact Us

Multimedia Encyclopedia


 
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:

  • Getting information about the heart or its blood vessels or to find out if you need heart surgery
  • Treating some types of heart conditions

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

American Heart Association. Cardiac catheterization. Updated September 2, 2015. www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Cardiac-Catheterization_UCM_451486_Article.jsp#.V34vl7h961s. Accessed July 7, 2016.

León LR, Labropoulos N. Vascular laboratory: venous duplex scanning. In: Cronenwett JL, Johnston KW, eds. Rutherford's Vascular Surgery. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 18.

Ziada KM. Intravascular ultrasound imaging. In: Bhatt DL, ed. Cardiovascular Intervention: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 16.

 
  • 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

  • Coronary artery blockage

    Coronary artery blockage - illustration

    Atherosclerosis is a common disorder of the arteries. Fat, cholesterol, and other substances collect in the walls of arteries. Larger accumulations are called atheromas or plaque and can damage artery walls and block blood flow. Severely restricted blood flow in the heart muscle leads to symptoms such as chest pain.

    Coronary artery blockage

    illustration

  • Cardiac catheterization

    Cardiac catheterization - illustration

    Cardiac catheterization is used to study the various functions of the heart. Using different techniques, the coronary arteries can be viewed by injecting dye or opened using balloon angioplasty. The oxygen concentration can be measured across the valves and walls (septa) of the heart and pressures within each chamber of the heart and across the valves can be measured. The technique can even be performed in small, newborn infants.

    Cardiac catheterization

    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

    • Coronary artery blockage

      Coronary artery blockage - illustration

      Atherosclerosis is a common disorder of the arteries. Fat, cholesterol, and other substances collect in the walls of arteries. Larger accumulations are called atheromas or plaque and can damage artery walls and block blood flow. Severely restricted blood flow in the heart muscle leads to symptoms such as chest pain.

      Coronary artery blockage

      illustration

    • Cardiac catheterization

      Cardiac catheterization - illustration

      Cardiac catheterization is used to study the various functions of the heart. Using different techniques, the coronary arteries can be viewed by injecting dye or opened using balloon angioplasty. The oxygen concentration can be measured across the valves and walls (septa) of the heart and pressures within each chamber of the heart and across the valves can be measured. The technique can even be performed in small, newborn infants.

      Cardiac catheterization

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Intravascular ultrasound

         

           

          Review Date: 6/6/2016

          Reviewed By: Deepak Sudheendra, MD, RPVI, Assistant Professor of Interventional Radiology and Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, with an expertise in Vascular Interventional Radiology and Surgical Critical Care, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, 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., 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.