The invasive intracoronary imaging assessment of left main coronary artery disease

Mihaela Ioana Dregoesc, Adrian Corneliu Iancu, Călin Homorodean


Left main coronary artery disease is associated with an unfavorable prognosis. Evidence-based decision making regarding the optimal revascularization strategy in patients with left main disease has become a challenge, in view of the recently published data. An improvement in outcomes following left main percutaneous interventions could be achieved by reducing the rate of repeat target lesion revascularization through stent optimization techniques. In the setting of left main disease, procedural guidance by intravascular ultrasound or optical coherence tomography is essential for good long-term results, in such a way that intravascular imaging has gained more of a therapeutic connotation. Besides stent optimization, intracoronary imaging quantifies lesion severity, guides lesion preparation through morphological data, facilitates stent selection through accurate vessel sizing, identifies the landing zones, diagnoses acute vessel wall complications such as stent-related edge dissection or intramural hematoma, and defines procedural success.

This review focuses on the two main intracoronary imaging techniques used for diagnostic evaluation and procedural guidance in left main coronary artery disease: intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography. Based on the most recently published data, the review discusses each technique’s advantages and pitfalls, and summarizes their indications. 


left main coronary artery disease; intracoronary imaging; intravascular ultrasound; optical coherence tomography; percutaneous coronary intervention

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