St George Cardiology

02 8580 1649

Suite 7H, Level 5, 1 South St
Kogarah NSW 2217

Holroyd Heart Centre

02 8604 0933

Suite 7H, Level 5, 1 South St
Kogarah NSW 2217

Intravascular imaging - IVUS and OCT. The new standard.

Posted By Dr George Touma  
17:00 PM

Have you had a recent coronary stent implanted?


Coronary stents can change peoples lives. For those suffering severe angina or those having an acute heart attack - they offer life saving and life improving options. 


Coronary stenting requires a high level of skill and attention to detail when implanted. 


Coronary stenting has multiple steps for optimal long results. 


1. Assess need for the stent.

2. Image the vessel to determine plaque modification strategy prior to stent implantation. 

3. Modify the plaque. Dilate the vessel with medication.

4. Re-image following plaque modification to size the vessel and determine stent diameter and length.

5. Implant the stent and optimise with a balloon.

6. Final imaging to ensure adequate stent expansion.


Without imaging, there is a higher likelihood your stent will be undersized and re-narrow.


So why are coronary imaging rates so low in Australia?


1. It takes a longer time to image

2. It takes a unique expertise to image 

3. There is no health fund reimbursement


I use intra-coronary imaging in greater than 95% of coronary arteries requiring intervention with a coronary stent. 


This ensures the risk if re-narrowing in the stent and acute coronary events is significantly reduced to levels approximating coronary bypass surgery.


When you are booked for a stent or have had a stent - ask if your cardiologist is using IVUS/OCT and if not - why not?


A vessel can not be sized visually with any degree if reproducible accuracy. We must strive to provide the best results for our patients having coronary stents. Without coronary imaging, we provide a substandard service to our patients.