Atherosclerosis, Intravascular ultrasound, Tissue characterization, Radiofrequency data analysis
Gray-scale intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is the modality that has been established as the golden standard for in vivo imaging of the vessel wall of the coronary arteries. The use of IVUS in clinical practice is an important diagnostic tool used for quantitative assessment of coronary artery disease. This has made IVUS the de-facto invasive imaging method to evaluate new interventional therapies such as new stent designs and for atherosclerosis progression-regression studies. However, the gray-scale representation of the coronary vessel wall and plaque morphology in combination with the limited resolution of the current IVUS catheters makes it difficult, if not impossible, to identify qualitatively (e.g. visually) the plaque morphology similar as that of histopathology, the golden standard to characterize and quantify coronary plaque tissue components. Meanwhile, this limitation has been partially overcome by new innovative IVUS-based post-processing methods such as: virtual histology IVUS (VH-IVUS, Volcano Therapeutics, Rancho Cordova, CA, USA), iMAP-IVUS (Bostoc Scientific, Santa Clara, CA, USA), Integrated Backscatter IVUS (IB-IVUS) and Automated Differential Echogenicity (ADE).