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J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord. 2019 Nov;7(6):801-807. doi: 10.1016/j.jvsv.2019.03.015. Epub 2019 Jun 10.

A comparison between intravascular ultrasound and venography in identifying key parameters essential for iliac vein stenting.

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The RANE Center, St. Dominic's Memorial Hospital, Jackson, Miss.
The RANE Center, St. Dominic's Memorial Hospital, Jackson, Miss. Electronic address:



Deep venous stenting has become the primary treatment option for obstructive venous disease. Precise identification and quantification of the disease as well as localization of optimal landing zones are key elements to success. Compared with venography (anteroposterior projection), intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) seems to be more sensitive in determining those parameters. This study was a blinded comparison of the relative accuracy of venography compared with IVUS in determining key parameters essential for iliac vein stenting.


Between October 2013 and November 2015, there were 155 limbs (152 patients) that underwent an endovascular intervention for chronic iliofemoral vein stenosis. Venography and IVUS data were reviewed by vascular surgeons and radiologists, respectively, each blinded to the other to identify location and severity of maximal stenosis, location of iliac-caval confluence, and optimal distal landing zone. Data from venography were compared with data from IVUS. Maximal stenosis was defined as the most severe stenosis found among the four segments-common iliac vein, external iliac vein, common femoral vein, and infrarenal vena cava. IVUS was the "gold standard" for comparisons.


Venography failed to identify lesion existence in 19% of limbs. The median maximal area stenosis was significantly higher with IVUS than with venography (69% vs 52%; P < .0001). Furthermore, venographic correlation with IVUS for the anatomic location of maximal stenosis was present in only 32% of the limbs; venography missed the location of maximal stenosis in more than two-thirds of limbs. The iliac-caval confluence location on venography correlated with IVUS findings in only 15% of patients. In 74%, it was located higher with IVUS than with venography. The mean difference was one vertebral body. Agreement between venography and IVUS on location of the distal landing zone was only 26%. The distal landing zone defined with IVUS was lower than with venography in 64% of limbs.


Compared with IVUS, venography substantially and significantly misses stenotic lesions-their location and severity; venography also misidentifies the location of the iliac-caval confluence and the distal landing zone in the majority of limbs. Those differences between IVUS and venography suggest that IVUS is the better diagnostic and procedural tool in iliac-caval stenting.


IVUS; Iliac vein stenosis; May-Thurner syndrome; Venogram

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