The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of imaging cerebral arteries in vitro with intravascular ultrasound and to establish a correlation between echographic images and corresponding histological architecture. Intravascular ultrasound imaging was performed using a 30-MHz, 4.3F ultrasound probe. Twenty-two arterial segments were obtained at autopsy from 6 patients and were imaged fresh. Arteries were then processed for histological examination and comparisons were made between echographic and histological findings. The correlation between luminal area measurements as determined histologically and by intravascular ultrasound was tested by linear regression analysis. Intravascular ultrasound demonstrated a three- layered appearance in normal cerebral arteries but not in those affected by severe atherosclerosis. Overall, ultrasound correctly identified the presence of a plaque in 83% of patients. Intravascular ultrasound sensitivity and specificity, respectively, were 100 and 80% for calcium deposits and 83 and 75% for fibrous tissue. Intravascular ultrasound and histological measurements correlated well for the determination of luminal area (r = 0.89). Intravascular ultrasound provides accurate characterization of the arterial lumen and geometry, as well as the presence and histological features of atherosclerotic plaque. Thus, it appears to have a great potential for an earlier and more accurate diagnosis of atherosclerosis and may serve to guide new interventional techniques being utilized in the treatment of cerebrovascular diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology