Intravascular ultrasound imaging has been pivotal in the understanding of coronary artery disease and the development of percutaneous coronary intervention. The ability to analyse vessel walls and measure atherosclerotic lesions more accurately has enabled the field of invasive cardiology to overcome the limits of angiography. In fact, intravascular ultrasound measurements correlate with functional measurement of coronary blood flow, as a result interest in their use for the diagnosis of lesion severity in ambiguous lesions and for left main trunk analysis has grown. On the interventional side, intravascular ultrasound is used to determine the major predictors of restenosis and stent thrombosis, which are the main pitfalls of percutaneous coronary intervention. In the bare-metal stent era, intravascular ultrasound-guided percutaneous coronary intervention was associated with a reduction in restenosis rates because it enabled identification and treatment of the risk factors for complications. Although drug-eluting stents have provided a great technological advance in percutaneous coronary intervention, further reducing the rate of in-stent restenosis, they have not abolished restenosis completely; intravascular ultrasound has also been used in this setting to identify the mechanisms responsible for drug-eluting stent restenosis. As in the bare-metal stent era, identification of the predictors of restenosis and stent thrombosis and their subsequent treatment may offer the promise of improved outcome in the drug-eluting stent era. This review focuses on the potential benefit of intravascular ultrasound-guided percutaneous coronary intervention with regard to restenosis and stent thrombosis in the bare-metal stent and drug-eluting stent eras.
- Drug-eluting stents
- Intravascular ultrasound
- Percutaneous coronary intervention