Intravascular Ultrasound Imaging of Pulmonary Arteries: Future Directions in Pulmonary IVUS
It is evident that pulmonary artery IVUS has many potential clinical applications. Preliminary studies in pulmonary artery stenosis have shown that it is a useful technique for evaluating the effects of balloon angioplasty. Therefore, it may also be useful in guiding stent placement. Recently, it has been shown that these catheters can be placed into the pulmonary artery with more safety and ease using a balloon-flotation IVUS catheter. By taking advantage of flow, the catheters can reach the pulmonary artery quickly and thus be used more easily in intensive care settings and in interventions. natural asthma inhalers
Since pulmonary IVUS provides high resolution images of the pulmonary artery at high frames sites, it can assess pulmonary artery stiffness and pulsatility as well as rapidly determine responses to pharmacologic interventions. Further work, however, is needed in determining the ability of IVUS to characterize the histologic components of increased pulmonary artery wall thickness in specific diseases such as primary pulmonary hypertension and vascular tumor invasion from bronchogenic carcinoma. Clinical studies are needed to assess how important the determination of pulmonary artery stiffness and endothelial function are in the prognosis of patients with pulmonary hypertension.
It is possible that pulmonary IVUS imaging will supplement many existing diagnostic modalities currently used to diagnose pulmonary embolism and tumors. The high resolution images provided with this technique will allow rapid identification of thrombus, tumor infiltration, and vessel wall abnormalities, and it will enhance the understanding of the pathophysiology and effects of treatment in pulmonary vascular diseases.