Correlation between high frequency intravascular ultrasound and histomorphology in human coronary arteries

F. Prati, E. Arbustini, A. Labellarte, B. Dal Bello, L. Sommariva, M. T. Mallus, A. Pagano, A. Boccanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective - To test the efficacy of high frequency intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) transducers in identifying lipid/necrotic pools in atherosclerotic plaques. Methods - 40 MHz transducers were used for in vitro IVUS assessment of 12 arterial segments (10 coronary and two carotid arteries, dissected from five different necropsy cases). IVUS acquisition was performed at 0.5 mm/s after ligature of the branching points to generate a closed system. Lipid/necrotic areas were defined by IVUS as large echolucent intraplaque areas surrounded by tissue with higher echodensity. To obtain histopathological sections corresponding to IVUS cross sections, vessels were divided into consecutive 3 mm long segments using the most distal recorded IVUS image as the starting reference. Samples were then fixed with 10% buffered formalin, processed for histopathological study, serially cut, and stained using the Movat pentacrome method. Results - 122 sections were analysed. Lipid pools were observed by histology in 30 sections (25%). IVUS revealed the presence of lipid pools in 19 of these sections (16%; sensitivity 65%, specificity 95%). Conclusions - In vitro assessment of lipid/necrotic pools with high frequency transducers was achieved with good accuracy. This opens new perspectives for future IVUS characterisation of atherosclerotic plaques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-570
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Intracoronary ultrasound
  • Plaque morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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