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BACKGROUND: Significant unprotected left main coronary artery (ULMCA) disease is encountered in approximately 5 % of patients undergoing diagnostic coronary angiography. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) overcomes many of the known limitations of angiography and improves outcomes of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) in stable or complex coronary artery disease. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the evidence on IVUS-guidance versus angiography-guidance in ULMCA PCI, highlighting the chronological frequencies of event rates in line with the maturation of PCI technique and devices over time. METHODS: A comprehensive systematic search in Medline was performed to identify all studies that had assessed the effect of IVUS-guided versus angiography-guided ULMCA PCI on various primary and secondary endpoints. RESULTS: Seventeen studies (2 randomized, 10 non-randomized and 5 meta-analyses) were included in this systematic review. CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review on IVUS-guided versus angiography-guided PCI in patients with significant ULMCA disease strongly supports the hypothesis that IVUS-guided PCI is associated with a significant reduction in major adverse cardiac events composites, all-cause death, cardiac death, myocardial infarction and stent thrombosis. Ongoing, adequately powered trials will contribute significantly to the level of evidence.

Original publication




Journal article


Cardiovasc Revasc Med

Publication Date



IVUS, Intracoronary ultrasound, Intravascular ultrasound, Left main