Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality despite the widespread use of established medical therapies. This has prompted the search to identify new therapeutic approaches to achieve more effective prevention of cardiovascular events. Considerable interest has focused on the role of surrogate markers of therapeutic efficacy in the early evaluation of novel anti-atherosclerotic therapies. Monitoring changes in the extent of coronary atherosclerosis with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) has been increasingly employed in clinical trials to assess progression and regression of atherosclerosis. This is based on the pivotal role that atherosclerotic plaque plays in the natural history of cardiovascular disease and the acceptance of validated arterial imaging approaches including coronary angiography and carotid intimal-medial thickness by regulatory authorities. The ability to generate high-resolution imaging of the entire thickness of the coronary artery wall permits evaluation of the entire burden of atherosclerotic plaque. In order to understand the differences, similarities, limitations and pitfalls of the IVUS technique among different academic core laboratories, a number of meetings of representatives from these groups were convened in 2007 and 2008. This document is the result of those IVUS methodology meetings that assembled experts from core laboratories to discuss standards for image acquisition, definitions, criteria, analyses, and primary and secondary endpoints.