Background: Over the last decade, the intra-coronary imaging (ICI) has emerged to guide percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), thus overcoming the limitations of “luminology” offered by angiography. Methods: In this review, we aim at purely focusing on the clinical implications of the employment of ICI in the routine practice, thus providing suggestions for future applications. In particular, we will describe the principal contributions and implications of ICI in the following different clinical settings: 1) assessment of clinical and imaging outcomes of PCI; 2) guiding PCI before and after stent implantation; 3) identification of mechanisms of stent failure. Results: Several studies showed the capability of ICI in assessing the clinical and imaging outcomes of PCI. In particular, they have compared the ICI-guided PCI with the angiography-guided procedures, emphasizing the advantages of using imaging. Indeed, ICI can characterize the coronary plaque, provide a precise estimation of the coronary stenosis, select the appropriate method of intervention, and optimize stent deployment and lesion coverage. Finally, ICI has been shown to be useful to point out the mechanisms of stent failure. Conclusions. ICI can facilitate decision-making in patients with unclear angiographic findings, guide-selected interventions and optimize the final PCI results in complex lesions or. in high-risk patients. Finally, by the identification of specific mechanisms of stent failure, the ICI can allow to adopt a tailored therapy for the singles cases.
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine