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J Interv Cardiol. 2011 Feb;24(1):9-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8183.2010.00600.x. Epub 2010 Oct 4.

Clinical utility of intravascular ultrasound in the assessment of coronary allograft vasculopathy: a review.

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  • 1Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Coronary artery vasculopathy (CAV) is one of the major factors that limit the long-term survival of heart transplant recipients. It is difficult to diagnose CAV, especially in the early stages. Traditional coronary angiography has been used for the diagnosis of CAV, but this method has limitations. Current literature suggests that intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is a safe imaging technique that is beneficial for the early diagnosis of CAV; in comparison, IVUS with virtual histology (IVUS-VH) is an even more promising diagnostic utility. Despite its advantages, IVUS is currently not routinely utilized as the primary diagnostic modality for CAV in heart transplant recipients. In this review, we evaluate and summarize the clinical utility of IVUS in the early diagnosis of CAV, including its utility for assessing vessel remodeling, plaque composition, and prognostic value; morphometric analysis; and guiding therapy. After reviewing the relevant published literature, it is our recommendation that the use of IVUS be considered in all post-transplant CAV screening.

©2010, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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