HOUSTON (November 22, 2023)

new integrated intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) technology systemMemorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center is the first hospital in the world to use a new integrated intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) technology system to treat patients for coronary artery disease (CAD).

CAD is caused by the buildup of plaque, including cholesterol, fatty deposits and calcium, inside the coronary arteries. It affects the arteries that supply blood to the heart, and it can cause symptoms such as exertional chest pain, heart attacks and heart failure. 

Intravascular ultrasound is an advanced imaging technique that makes it possible for cardiologists to look inside the blood vessels of the heart, capturing real-time images of the arterial walls and any blockages. 

Typically, to get a look at plaque buildup, interventional cardiologists insert a catheter into the patient’s arteries and then use contrast to create X-ray images. This procedure is called angiography. The cardiologists then examine the images and determine the best course of treatment for the patient.

The new IVUS technology gives physicians at Memorial Hermann-TMC an even clearer image of plaque buildup and acts as an eye inside the patient’s arteries. Memorial Hermann-affiliated doctors insert the IVUS catheter into the arteries, where ultrasound images pinpoint the exact location of the buildup. The newest version of the technology incorporates artificial intelligence to enhance the information gained from the images, which helps doctors better determine the best treatment for the patient.