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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005 Feb 15;45(4):559-64.

Long-term safety of intravascular ultrasound in nontransplant, nonintervened, atherosclerotic coronary arteries.

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  • 1Research Center, Montreal Heart Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



The goal of this study was to demonstrate that intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) examination of native coronary arteries does not result in an acceleration of the atherosclerotic process.


Intravascular ultrasound is increasingly used to assess the effects of pharmacologic agents on atherosclerosis.


Intravascular ultrasound examinations of one coronary artery and coronary angiography were performed in 525 patients at baseline. Patients then underwent a follow-up angiogram 18 to 24 months later. All end points were evaluated in IVUS-related and non-IVUS arteries using quantitative coronary analysis. The study end points were the coronary change score (per-patient mean of minimum lumen diameter changes for all lesions measured), occurrence of new coronary lesions, and progression of preexistent lesions at follow-up. Acute angiographic and clinical complications were also analyzed.


Coronary change score was -0.06 +/- 0.23 mm and -0.05 +/- 0.21 mm for IVUS-related and non-IVUS arteries, respectively (p = 0.35). The increase in percent diameter stenosis from baseline to follow-up was 0.8 +/- 6.7% and 1.2 +/- 7.0% in the IVUS-related and non-IVUS arteries (p = 0.29). New lesions occurred in 3.6% and 3.9% of IVUS-related and non-IVUS arteries, respectively (p = 0.84). When all coronary lesions were considered, the incidence of lesion progression was not significantly different between IVUS-related (11.6%) and non-IVUS (9.8%) arteries. Coronary spasm occurred in 1.9% of IVUS procedures, and there was one case of acute occlusion with no long-term sequelae.


Intravascular ultrasound does not significantly accelerate atherosclerosis in native coronary arteries and can be used safely to assess progression/regression in clinical trials.

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