Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is a way to look at the inside of a blood vessel with high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound). It can give your healthcare provider a close, detailed view of the inside of an artery.
IVUS is usually done during a percutaneous coronary intervention (also called angioplasty) or a coronary angiogram. The ultrasound may add information that can be used to tailor the treatment for a specific area of the artery.
Before the test, your healthcare provider will want to know what medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines. Talk with your healthcare provider about medicines you should take or not take before the test.
Tell your provider if you have had any kidney problems or reactions to iodine-containing foods, such as seafood, or chemicals, such as X-ray contrast dye.
Follow the instructions your healthcare provider gives you. Eat a light meal the night before the test. You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for 12 hours before the test. If you have diabetes, your provider may give you special instructions about your diabetic medicine.
Arrange for someone to drive you home after the test.
This test is usually done at the hospital.
Before the test you will be given medicine to help you relax, but you will be awake during the test. You will also be given a shot of anesthetic to numb the area where the catheter will be inserted.
Your healthcare provider will put a very thin, flexible tube called a catheter through your skin and into a blood vessel in your groin or arm. Your provider will guide the catheter to the artery being examined or treated. The tube has a probe at its tip that bounces ultrasound waves off the inside of the blood vessel. Once the probe is in the right place, the ultrasound waves are used to make pictures of the inside of the artery.
At the end of the test, your healthcare provider will remove the catheter and put pressure on the area where the catheter was inserted (the puncture site) to control any bleeding.
After the test you may stay in an observation area for at least a few hours to make sure the puncture site is not bleeding. Avoid any strenuous activity for the rest of the day to prevent bleeding. You may have a bruise near the puncture site and be uncomfortable for a few days.
Ask your healthcare provider how to take care of yourself at home. Ask about what symptoms to watch for, and what precautions you should take. Ask how and when you should expect to hear your test results. Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup.
The detailed view of the inside of the artery will help your healthcare provider diagnose and treat your problem.
Complications from this test are rare. Possible risks include:
You should ask your healthcare provider how these risks might apply to you.
Call your provider right away if:
Call during office hours if: