Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS)
For many years, the only way of directly viewing the coronary arteries to look for plaque buildup was through catheterization and angiography. This showed the channel of flow but not the vessel wall where plaque occurs.
With the invention and refinement of intravascular coronary ultrasound (IVUS), it is now possible to thread a tiny ultrasound transducer into the coronary arteries to give a cross-sectional view from the inside-out, showing the physician where the normal artery wall ends and the plaque begins.
UC San Diego diagnostic cardiologists regularly use intravascular ultrasound to enhance their diagnostic capabilities and accurately visualize plaque.