A dual-element needle transducer for intravascular ultrasound imaging has been developed. A low-frequency element and a high-frequency element were integrated into one device to obtain images which conveyed both low- and high-frequency information from a single scan. The low-frequency element with a center frequency of 48 MHz was fabricated from the single crystal form of lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate solid solution with two matching layers (MLs) and the high frequency element with a center frequency of 152 MHz was fabricated from lithium niobate with one ML. The measured axial and lateral resolutions were 27 and , respectively, for the low-frequency element, and 14 and , respectively, for the high-frequency element. The performance of the dual-element needle transducer was validated by imaging a tissue-mimicking phantom with lesion-mimicking area, and ex vivo rabbit aortas in water and rabbit whole blood. The results suggest that a low-frequency element effectively provides depth resolved images of the whole vessel and its adjacent tissue, and a high-frequency element visualizes detailed structure near the surface of the lumen wall in the presence of blood within the lumen. The advantages of a dual-element approach for intravascular imaging are also discussed.