Arterial Imaging With a New Forward-Viewing Intravascular Ultrasound Catheter, I: Initial Studies

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Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) of arteries is limited by the inability of current instruments to visualize beyond the catheter tip. We have developed a prototype 4-mm-diameter forward-viewing IVUS catheter (Cardiovascular Imaging Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif) that has the ability to provide B-mode cross-sectional ultrasound data for a distance of up to 2 cm distal to the catheter tip.

Methods and Results

To study the utility of this device, a 20-MHz forward-viewing IVUS catheter was used to examine 13 arterial segments (5 human femoral arteries, 1 human carotid artery, 7 canine arteries) in vitro and 1 phantom. After imaging, all data were compared with histology (Histo). In all cases, the IVUS catheter provided forward-viewing images corresponding to the arterial geometry and demonstrated vascular landmarks and atherosclerotic lesions. There was a good correlation between Histo-determined luminal diameters (LD) and IVUS-determined diameters for a distance of 14 mm ahead of the catheter tip: IVUS LD= 1.0 Histo LD+ 1.3 (r = .87).


These preliminary data suggest that a forward- viewing IVUS catheter is feasible, accurate, and useful for evaluation of arterial geometry distal to the catheter tip.

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