Use of Intravascular Ultrasound During First-Time Femoropopliteal Peripheral Vascular Interventions Among Medicare Beneficiaries

Sarah E. Deery, Earl Goldsborough, Chen Dun, Christopher J. Abularrage, James H. Black, Martin A. Makary, Caitlin W. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) may be a useful adjunct to lower extremity peripheral vascular interventions (PVI) in certain clinical scenarios. We aimed to identify patient- and physician-level characteristics associated with the use of IVUS during first-time femoropopliteal PVI. Methods: We included all Medicare beneficiaries undergoing elective femoropopliteal PVI for claudication or chronic limb-threatening ischemia between 01/01/2019 and 12/31/2019. We excluded patients with prior open or endovascular femoropopliteal intervention and all physicians performing ≤10 PVI during the study period. We calculated the proportion of patients who had IVUS performed as part of their index PVI for each physician. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to evaluate patient- and physician-level factors associated with use of IVUS. Results: We identified 58,552 patients who underwent index femoropopliteal PVI, of whom 11,394 (19%) received IVUS. A total of 1,628 physicians performed >10 procedures during the study period, with IVUS utilization ranging from 0–100%. After hierarchical regression, claudication (versus chronic limb-threatening ischemia: OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.11–1.36), stenting (versus angioplasty alone: OR 1.57, 1.33–1.86) and atherectomy (versus angioplasty alone: OR 2.09, 1.83–2.39) were associated with higher odds of IVUS utilization. Higher-volume providers (tertile 3 vs. tertile 1: OR 3.78, 2.43–5.90) and those with high rates of service provided in an office-based laboratory (tertile 3 vs. tertile 1: OR 10.72, 6.78–19.93) were more likely to utilize IVUS. Radiologists (OR 11.23, 5.96–21.17) and cardiologists (OR 1.97, 1.32–2.93) used IVUS more frequently than vascular surgeons. Conclusions: Wide variability exists in the use of IVUS for first-time femoropopliteal PVI. The association of IVUS with claudication, atherectomy, and office-based laboratories raises concern about its potential overuse by some physicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-77
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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