Validation of catheter-based intravascular ultrasound imaging has been based on comparisons with histology and digital angiography, each of which may have limitations in the assessment of arterial size and morphology. External, high-frequency ultrasound can accurately determine vessel dimensions and morphology and because, like intravascular ultrasound, it also provides cross-sectional arterial ultrasound images, it may be a more appropriate technique for the in vivo comparison of arterial dimensions and morphology determined by intravascular ultrasound. Thus, intravascular ultrasound, external 2-dimensional ultrasound, Doppler color-flow imaging and digital angiography were compared for assessment of arterial dimensions and wall morphology at 29 femoral artery sites in 15 patients. Intravascular ultrasound and the other 3 imaging modalities correlated well in determination of lumen diameter (2-dimensional, r = 0.98, standard error of the estimate [SEE] = 0.14; Doppler color flow, r = 0.91, SEE = 1.11; angiography, r = 0.95, SEE = 0.91) and cross-sectional area (2-dimensional, r = 0.97, SEE = 0.04; Doppler color flow, r = 0.92, SEE = 0.14; angiography, r = 0.96, SEE = 0.08). However, lumen size measured by Doppler color flow was consistently smaller than that measured by the other 3 imaging modalities. Intravascular ultrasound detected arterial plaque at 15 sites, 5 of which were hypoechoic (soft) and 10 hyperechoic with distal shadowing (hard). Plaque was identified at 12 of 15 sites by 2-dimensional imaging (p = 0.30 vs intravascular ultrasound), but at only 6 of 15 sites by angiography (p = 0.003 vs intravascular ultrasound), only 1 of which was thought to be calcified plaque. These data indicate that arterial dimensions determined by intravascular ultrasound correlate well with both external ultrasound and angiography in normal and minimally diseased peripheral arteries. Doppler color flow underestimates true lumen size. Angiography is often discordant with both intravascular and external ultrasound in determining the presence and composition of arterial plaque.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine