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Vascular calcification is a highly prevalent pathophenotype that is associated with aging, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease. When present, it portends a worse clinical outcome and predicts major adverse cardiovascular events. Heavily calcified coronary and peripheral artery lesions are difficult to dilate appropriately with conventional balloons during percutaneous intervention, and the use of several adjunctive strategies of plaque modification has been suggested. Intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) offers a novel option for lesion preparation of severely calcified plaques in coronary and peripheral vessels. It is unique among all technologies in its ability to modify calcium circumferentially and transmurally, thus modifying transmural conduit compliance. In this article, we summarize the currently available evidence on this technology, and we highlight its best clinical application through appropriate patient and lesion selection, with the main objective of optimizing stent delivery and implantation, and subsequent improved short- and long-term outcomes. We believe that the IVL balloon will transform the market, as it is easy to use, with predictable results. However, cost-effectiveness of such advanced technology will need to be considered.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





677 - 688


calcified lesions, intracoronary imaging, intravascular lithotripsy, vascular calcification