Role of Angiography and Intravascular Ultrasound
Interest in carotid arterial disease has shown continued growth. 1 This has been fueled by documentation of the major burden of stroke and transient ischemic attack, both personally and on society as a whole, the increasing use of non-invasive screening, the widespread practice of carotid endarterectomy, and now most strikingly, the enthusiasm for carotid stenting and the involvement of cardiovascular specialists, i.e. cardiologists. The field of imaging has changed dramatically over this time, with the now common application of ultrasound and increasingly computed tomography (CT) angiography and magnetic resonance imaging/angiography (MRI/MRA). 2-12 Some of these techniques, either alone or in concert, have the potential to replace or at least change the need for carotid angiography, which in the past was the definitive gold standard.