Combining two imaging technologies may better identify dangerous coronary plaques

March 9, 2016

Combining optical coherence tomography (OCT) with another advanced imaging technology may more accurately identify coronary artery plaques that are most likely to rupture and cause a heart attack. In a report being published online in JACC Cardiovascular Imaging, investigators from the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) describe the first use in patients of a catheter-based device utilizing both OCT and near-infrared autofluorescence (NIRAF) imaging.

"OCT provides images of tissue microstructure but not of its chemical and molecular composition," says Gary Tearney, MD, PhD, of the Wellman Center and the MGH Pathology Department, co-senior author of the paper. "Since both of those characteristics are needed to fully understand coronary artery disease, the combination of OCT with NIRAF could provide a more powerful tool for investigating coronary pathology."

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