Special Section on Cardiovascular Photonics

Optical coherence tomography for imaging the vulnerable plaque

[+] Author Affiliations
Guillermo J. Tearney

Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Blossom Street, BAR703, Boston, Massachusetts 02114

Ik-Kyung Jang

Massachusetts General Hospital, Cardiology Division, 55 Fruit Street, BAR703, Boston, Massachusetts 02114

Brett E. Bouma

Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, 50 Blossom Street, BAR703, Boston, Massachusetts 02114

J. Biomed. Opt. 11(2), 021002 (April 17, 2006). doi:10.1117/1.2192697
History: Received July 17, 2005; Revised February 13, 2006; Accepted February 20, 2006; Published April 17, 2006
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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 optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been developed to both identify and study these lesions due to its distinct resolution advantage over other imaging modalities. We review clinical research conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital over the past five years to develop, validate, and utilize this technology to improve our understanding of vulnerable plaque. Our results show 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.

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© 2006 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Guillermo J. Tearney ; Ik-Kyung Jang and Brett E. Bouma
"Optical coherence tomography for imaging the vulnerable plaque", J. Biomed. Opt. 11(2), 021002 (April 17, 2006). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2192697


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