Intravascular Ultrasound

Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) is an imaging technology used to view the lining of arteries, enabling better diagnosis and treatment in patients with coronary artery disease. By threading a miniaturized ultrasound probe through a catheter directly into the artery, cardiologists are able to collect information on the lining of the blood vessel, and to create a picture of built-up fatty deposits in the artery wall that cause atherosclerosis.

UNC has been a leader in IVUS technology for many years, and was one of the first hospitals to install the technology now used in more than half of all ultrasounds in the United States (Volcano Technology with Virtual Histology). We’ve also been actively involved in using IVUS technology in our research to further cardiologists’ understanding of coronary artery atherosclerosis in the hope of finding innovative new treatment or prevention methods.

A related technology used at UNC–intracardiac echocardiography (ICE)–allows our cardiologists to more clearly see structures within the heart, including valves, to better diagnose and treat patients with structural heart disease. ICE is useful in detecting abnormalities in the heart such as atrial septal defect, a hole between the upper chambers of the heart that results from abnormal tissue formation during fetal development.


George Stouffer, MD
David Tate, MD

Contact Us

Call the Heart & Vascular Center referral line at 866-862-4327 to find specialists, make an appointment or learn more about preventing heart disease.

Open Access is a new physician referral service, created by the UNC Center for Heart & Vascular Care, which coordinates all admissions and transfers through a single phone call and guarantees immediate acceptance for patients. Please contact us to learn more or call 866-862-4327.

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