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Clinical feasibility of 0.018-inch intravascular ultrasound imaging device


OBJECTIVES:Intravascular ultrasound imaging (IVUS) is limited by the size of the imaging catheter. To facilitate imaging before and during interventions, a 30-MHz ultrasonic imaging device was developed that is the same dimension as a 0.018-inch guide wire. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical feasibility of this device. METHODS AND RESULTS:The imaging core was tested in 8 patients with the use of a monorail guiding sheath that was advanced through a 7F catheter. In addition, after coronary interventions, the standard guide wire was removed, the imaging core was placed inside a compatible balloon, and imaging was performed. In 4 patients, imaging was also performed with a standard 3.2F IVUS catheter. The lumen-plaque interface and the media-plaque interface were clearly visualized in all patients. There was no detectable loss in image quality between the new imaging device and the larger IVUS catheter, and measurements of lumen cross-sectional area were not statistically different. CONCLUSIONS:Improvements in manufacturing technology have permitted the development of a mechanically rotating ultrasound imaging core 0.018 inches in diameter. It is compatible with current balloon catheters without degradation of image quality.

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