Objective: This study evaluates the feasibility, reliability and reproducibility of electrocardiogram (ECG)-gated intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) image acquisition during automated transducer withdrawal and automated three-dimensional (3D) boundary detection for assessing on-line the result of coronary stenting.
Background: Systolic-diastolic image artifacts frequently limit the clinical applicability of such automated analysis systems.
Methods: In 30 patients, after successful angiography-guided implantation of 34 stents in 30 target lesions, we carried out IVUS examinations on-line with the use of ECG-gated automated 3D analyses and conventional manual analyses of two-dimensional images from continuous pullbacks. These on-line measurements were compared with off-line 3D reanalyses. The adequacy of stent deployment was determined by using ultrasound criteria for stent apposition, symmetry and expansion.
Results: Gated image acquisition was successfully performed in all patients to allow on-line 3D analysis within 8.7 +/- 0.6 min (mean +/- SD). Measurements by on-line and off-line 3D analyses correlated closely (r > or = 0.95), and the minimal stent lumen differed only minimally (8.6 +/- 2.8 mm2 vs. 8.5 +/- 2.8 mm2, p = NS). The conventional analysis significantly overestimated the minimal stent lumen (9.0 +/- 2.7 mm2, p < 0.005) in comparison with results of both 3D analyses. Fourteen stents (41%) failed to meet the criteria by both 3D analyses, all of these not reaching optimal expansion, but only 7 (21%) were detected by conventional analysis (p < 0.02). Intraobserver and interobserver comparison of stent lumen measurements by the automated approach revealed minimal differences (0.0 +/- 0.2 mm2 and 0.0 +/- 0.3 mm2) and excellent correlations (r = 0.99 and 0.98, respectively).
Conclusions: ECG-gated image acquisition after coronary stent deployment is feasible, permits on-line automated 3D reconstruction and analysis and provides reliable and reproducible measurements; these factors facilitate detection of the minimal lumen site.