Computerized technologies informing cardiac catheterization and guiding coronary intervention

Am Heart J. 2021 Oct;240:28-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2021.05.017. Epub 2021 May 30.


Advances in image processing and computer hardware have enabled the development of user-friendly software which operate in real-time and can be used in the catheterization laboratory to facilitate percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The two dimensional-(2D) quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) systems that have traditionally been used to assess lesion severity have been replaced by 3D-QCA systems, enabling more reliable evaluation of vessel geometry and lesion dimensions. This also allows 3D reconstruction of coronary bifurcation anatomy and generation of models that can be processed by computational fluid dynamic techniques to reliably detect flow-limiting lesions. More recently, software has been introduced that has the capability of generating a digital silhouette of the coronary arteries superimposed onto X-ray angiography to facilitate wire crossing and stent placement, and potentially reduce contrast use. In parallel, methodologies have been developed that operate with an accessible interface and can process intravascular imaging data, reliably quantify lesion severity and co-register intravascular and X-ray angiographic data to comprehensively assess plaque distribution and guide PCI. The above advances are used in daily practice to improve procedural results and outcomes. This review aims to provide an overview of the developments in the field - it presents the computer-based technologies that have been designed to accurately assess lesion severity, summarizes the advantages and limitations of the systems introduced to co-register imaging data and discusses the potential value of the existing and emerging software in the catheterization laboratory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods*
  • Coronary Angiography / methods
  • Coronary Vessels / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fluoroscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention / methods*
  • Software*
  • Stents
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods