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Clinical utility of negative contrast intravascular ultrasound to evaluate plaque morphology before and after coronary interventions


Although intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is used for evaluation of plaque volume and lumen size as well as detection of vessel wall structures after catheter-based interventions, differentiation between the lumen and plaque structures can be difficult. This study attempted to evaluate the efficacy of negative contrast IVUS imaging for assessment of vessel wall morphology after coronary interventions. IVUS studies were performed in 67 lesions in 66 patients before and after coronary interventions. After the baseline ultrasound imaging run, warm 5% glucose solution was injected manually through the guiding catheter into the coronary artery to washout blood from the lumen to avoid speckled reflections from red blood cells (negative contrast). Quantitative measurements were obtained and plaque morphology was assessed for the presence and extent of medial dissections and intimal flaps. There was no difference in each quantitative parameter between baseline images and negative contrast images. The vessel wall boundary was clearly delineated from the lumen, which was defined as effective negative contrast in 51 of 67 lesions (76%). The baseline images revealed plaque dissection in 9 lesions (18%) and an intimal flap in 13 lesions (25%). In addition, 4 dissections (8%) and 16 intimal flaps (31%) were visualized during the infusion of negative contrast. Additional treatment was performed in 4 lesions (8%) based on the images with negative contrast. Negative contrast IVUS was more sensitive in demonstrating a plaque fracture than were baseline images. This method is useful for enhancing the diagnostic capability of IVUS imaging and may influence the decision-making process during interventional procedures.

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