Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

                        For Imaging Vulnerable Plaques

  Introduction Basic Principles Intracoronary OCT Other Applications Future Work References BME 240

         Intracoronary OCT

         While our understanding of vulnerable coronary plaque is still at an early stage, the concept that certain types

         of plaques predispose patients to developing an acute myocardial infarction continues to be at the forefront of

         cardiology research. Intracoronary OCT has been developed to both identify and study these lesions due to its

         distinct resolution advantage over other imaging modalities.


         Clinical research conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital over the past five years developed,

         validated, and utilized this technology to improve our understanding of vulnerable plaque. Results showed that

         intracoronary OCT may be safely conducted in patients and that it provides abundant information regarding

         plaque microscopic morphology, which is essential to the identification and study of high-risk lesions. Even

         though many basic biological, clinical, and technological challenges must be addressed prior to widespread use

         of this technology, the unique capabilities of OCT ensure that it will have a prominent role in shaping the

         future of cardiology.





                                                                                          OCT images of coronary plaques acquired from living human patients




 OCT images and corresponding histology for fibrous, lipid-rich plaques (obtained ex vivo)





                                                                                                                                           OCT image of a ruptured plaque obtained from a patient with AMI





Designed by Jingjing Jiang