Intraluminal ultrasound imaging through a balloon dilation catheter in an animal model of coarctation of the Aorta

Abraham Rothman, François Ricou, Robert G. Weintraub, Robert Crowley, Robert Arcangeli, Takahiro Shiota, Jun Zhang, David J. Sahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background. Controversy still exists over the optimal balloon size, extent of vascular disruption, and long-term results of balloon dilation therapy for coarctation of the aorta. Intravascular ultrasound imaging has been used in patients with coronary artery disease to provide further insight into the anatomy of atherosclerotic lesions and the results of angioplasty and atherectomy. Initial observations of the results of balloon dilation of coarctations with intravascular ultrasound imaging have shown prominent dissections of the inner vascular layers that are often not detected by angiography. The purpose of this study was to test a new transballoon catheter ultrasonic imaging system capable of on-line direct visualization of lumen diameter and vessel wall structure for imaging before, during, and after dilation in an acute animal model of aortic coarctation. Methods and Results. Abdominal aortic coarctations were created surgically in three 14-19-kg mongrel dogs by using Teflon gauze ties. The 6.8F ultrasound balloon catheter was placed percutaneously in the right femoral artery through a 9F sheath. Ultrasound imaging allowed measurement of the coarctation diameter, characterization of the vessel wall structure, localization of the stenosis, and placement of the midportion of the balloon at the narrowest area. Imaging through the balloon was performed through several dilations (five to eight per animal), and after balloon deflation, it provided information on postdilation diameter, intimai tears, long-segment dissections, and intramural thrombi, findings that were confirmed at postmortem examination. Conclusions. The results of this study demonstrate that imaging with a new intraballoon ultrasound device is feasible during inflation to therapeutic dilation pressures; it allows visualization of the changes in diameter and vascular wall structure after serial dilations without having to recross the obstructed area. Adaptation to larger balloon sizes and lower frequencies should make this system applicable to interventional catheterizations in patients with congenital cardiac and vascular lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2291-2295
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Balloon dilation
  • Coarctation, aortic
  • Intravascular ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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