Aims: The impact of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) guided coronary drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation on clinical outcomes remains controversial. A meta-analysis of the currently available clinical trials investigating IVUS-guided DES implantation was undertaken.
Methods and results: We searched Medline, the Cochrane Library and other internet sources, without language or date restrictions, for published articles comparing clinical outcomes between IVUS-guided and angiography-guided DES implantation. Clinical studies with both adjusted and unadjusted data were included. Eleven studies were identified (one randomised controlled trial and 10 registries) and included in the meta-analysis with a weighted follow-up time of 20.7±11.5 months. Compared with angiography guidance, IVUS-guided DES implantation was associated with a reduced incidence of death (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.48-0.73, p<0.001), major adverse cardiac events (HR: 0.87, 95% CI: 0.78-0.96, p=0.008) and stent thrombosis (HR: 0.58, 95% CI: 0.44-0.77, p<0.001). The incidence of myocardial infarction (HR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.63-1.06, p=0.126), target lesion (HR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.73-1.11, p=0.316) and target vessel (HR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.77-1.05, p=0.195) revascularisation was comparable between the angiography and IVUS-guided arms. A repeat meta-analysis of propensity-matched studies only (six studies, n=5,300) yielded broadly similar results in terms of clinical outcomes.
Conclusions: IVUS-guided coronary DES implantation is associated with a significant reduction in death, MACE and stent thrombosis compared to angiography guidance. Appropriately powered randomised trials are necessary to confirm the findings from this meta-analysis.