Also called an intracoronary ultrasound or intravascular ultrasound, this special ultrasound allows your doctor to see blockages in your coronary arteries during cardiac catheterization. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create detailed pictures of your heart’s blood vessels and arteries. This procedure is rarely done alone or as a strictly diagnostic procedure. A coronary ultrasound is usually done at the same time that another procedure, such as angioplasty, is being performed.
How does it work?
A coronary ultrasound is a medical method to take moving images of your heart and is performed with a specially designed catheter (a long, thin, flexible tube) that has a miniaturized ultrasound probe attached to the end. It’s this probe, when put into a blood vessel, that allows your doctor to actually see the inside of your blood vessels and arteries.
Why might I need a coronary ultrasound?
• To see your artery from the inside out, which makes it possible to evaluate the amount of disease
• To see if there is further the need for treatment (such as angioplasty or bypass surgery)
• To determine the predictors of transplant coronary artery disease