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      Role of Optical Coherence Tomography in Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome

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          Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is the main cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of disease burden in high-income countries. ACS refers to a constellation of clinical symptoms that are compatible with acute myocardial ischemia. It describes a spectrum of clinical manifestations that result from a common pathophysiological process. The most common cause of ACS are rupture of an atherosclerotic lesion containing a large necrotic core and a thin fibrous cap followed by acute luminal thrombosis. It was thought that a high-resolution imaging modality would be ideal to detect high-risk plaques before their disruption and the formation of an occlusive thrombus. Optical coherence tomography has proven to be an invaluable tool in early detection of high-risk plaques and particularly in the understanding of ACS. This review focuses on the current evidence for the role of optical coherence tomography in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with ACS.

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          Lessons From Sudden Coronary Death: A Comprehensive Morphological Classification Scheme for Atherosclerotic Lesions

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            From vulnerable plaque to vulnerable patient: a call for new definitions and risk assessment strategies: Part I.

            Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease results in >19 million deaths annually, and coronary heart disease accounts for the majority of this toll. Despite major advances in treatment of coronary heart disease patients, a large number of victims of the disease who are apparently healthy die suddenly without prior symptoms. Available screening and diagnostic methods are insufficient to identify the victims before the event occurs. The recognition of the role of the vulnerable plaque has opened new avenues of opportunity in the field of cardiovascular medicine. This consensus document concludes the following. (1) Rupture-prone plaques are not the only vulnerable plaques. All types of atherosclerotic plaques with high likelihood of thrombotic complications and rapid progression should be considered as vulnerable plaques. We propose a classification for clinical as well as pathological evaluation of vulnerable plaques. (2) Vulnerable plaques are not the only culprit factors for the development of acute coronary syndromes, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death. Vulnerable blood (prone to thrombosis) and vulnerable myocardium (prone to fatal arrhythmia) play an important role in the outcome. Therefore, the term "vulnerable patient" may be more appropriate and is proposed now for the identification of subjects with high likelihood of developing cardiac events in the near future. (3) A quantitative method for cumulative risk assessment of vulnerable patients needs to be developed that may include variables based on plaque, blood, and myocardial vulnerability. In Part I of this consensus document, we cover the new definition of vulnerable plaque and its relationship with vulnerable patients. Part II of this consensus document focuses on vulnerable blood and vulnerable myocardium and provide an outline of overall risk assessment of vulnerable patients. Parts I and II are meant to provide a general consensus and overviews the new field of vulnerable patient. Recently developed assays (eg, C-reactive protein), imaging techniques (eg, CT and MRI), noninvasive electrophysiological tests (for vulnerable myocardium), and emerging catheters (to localize and characterize vulnerable plaque) in combination with future genomic and proteomic techniques will guide us in the search for vulnerable patients. It will also lead to the development and deployment of new therapies and ultimately to reduce the incidence of acute coronary syndromes and sudden cardiac death. We encourage healthcare policy makers to promote translational research for screening and treatment of vulnerable patients.
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              Characterization of human atherosclerosis by optical coherence tomography.

              High-resolution visualization of atherosclerotic plaque morphology may be essential for identifying coronary plaques that cause acute coronary events. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an intravascular imaging modality capable of providing cross-sectional images of tissue with a resolution of 10 micro m. To date, OCT imaging has not been investigated in sufficient detail to assess its accuracy for characterizing atherosclerotic plaques. The aim of this study was to establish objective OCT image criteria for atherosclerotic plaque characterization in vitro. OCT images of 357 (diseased) atherosclerotic arterial segments obtained at autopsy were correlated with histology. OCT image criteria for 3 types of plaque were formulated by analysis of a subset (n=50) of arterial segments. OCT images of fibrous plaques were characterized by homogeneous, signal-rich regions; fibrocalcific plaques by well-delineated, signal-poor regions with sharp borders; and lipid-rich plaques by signal-poor regions with diffuse borders. Independent validation of these criteria by 2 OCT readers for the remaining segments (n=307) demonstrated a sensitivity and specificity ranging from 71% to 79% and 97% to 98% for fibrous plaques, 95% to 96% and 97% for fibrocalcific plaques, and 90% to 94% and 90% to 92% for lipid-rich plaques, respectively (overall agreement, kappa=0.83 to 0.84). The interobserver and intraobserver reliabilities of OCT assessment were high (kappa values of 0.88 and 0.91, respectively). Objective OCT criteria are highly sensitive and specific for characterizing different types of atherosclerotic plaques. These results represent an important step in validating this new intravascular imaging modality and will provide a basis for the interpretation of intracoronary OCT images obtained from patients.

                Author and article information

                Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                February 2017
                June 2017
                : 2
                : 2
                : 229-235
                1Department of Cardiology, The 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University; The Key Laboratory of Myocardial Ischemia, Chinese Ministry of Education, Harbin, China
                2Bashkir State Medical University, Ufa, Russia
                *The first two authors contributed equally to this work.
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Bo Yu, Department of Cardiology, The 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University; The Key Laboratory of Myocardial Ischemia, Chinese Ministry of Education, Harbin 150086, China, E-mail: yubodr@ ; and Haibo Jia, Department of Cardiology, The 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150086, China, E-mail: jhb101180@
                Copyright © 2017 Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See



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