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Int J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 3;168(3):2089-93. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.01.159. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

The Virtual histology In CaroTids Observational RegistrY (VICTORY) study: a European prospective registry to assess the feasibility and safety of intravascular ultrasound and virtual histology during carotid interventions.

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Division of Cardiology, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.



Carotid occlusive disease is the most common determinant of thromboembolic stroke. However, limited insights in vivo into the pathophysiology and pathology of carotid plaques are available. We designed a prospective multicenter registry to appraise the safety and feasibility of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and IVUS-virtual histology (IVUS-VH) imaging before and immediately after carotid stenting.


Symptomatic and asymptomatic patients scheduled for carotid stenting were included. IVUS-VH pullbacks were performed before and after stenting. Angiographic, IVUS and IVUS-VH analyses were performed. The primary objective was to appraise feasibility and safety of IVUS-VH, and secondary objectives were to correlate plaque composition and plaque type derived from IVUS-VH with acute and 30-day complications.


A total of 119 patients were enrolled. IVUS-VH could be performed in all cases (100%), with additional runs after completion of the stenting procedure in 85%. Most plaques were stable by IVUS-VH, with vulnerable ones at minimum lumen area in 7%. Conversely, vulnerable plaques were significantly more common elsewhere in the internal carotid artery (ICA, 24% of patients, p<0.001). Acute and 30-day adverse events were uncommon (2 strokes, 1 transient ischemic attack), with no significant association between these and IVUS-VH features.


IVUS and IVUS-VH examinations during carotid interventions are feasible and safe, and provide important insights on qualitative and quantitative compositions of carotid plaques. Whether carotid IVUS-VH can predict clinical events remains uncertain, awaiting long-term follow-up of the VICTORY study and additional clinical trials.


Atherosclerosis; Carotid; Intravascular ultrasound; Plaque morphology; Stent; Virtual histology

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