Article ID: CJ-12-0828
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high resolution imaging technique that offers microscopic visualization of the coronary artery. The fast scanning speed and simple imaging procedure of new-generation frequency-domain OCT make this technology easy to use in the clinical setting. The OCT examination is useful for guidance and risk stratification of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). OCT-derived thin-cap fibroatheroma, which is characterized by large lipid-core and thin fibrous cap <65μm, is a predictor of peri-PCI complications, such as angiographic no-reflow, microvascular obstruction, and post-PCI cardiac troponin I elevation. Stent malapposition, tissue protrusion, and stent edge dissection are assessed in more detail by OCT than with conventional intravascular imaging modalities. Neointimal coverage at strut level assessed by OCT could be a surrogate endpoint for quickly scrutinizing safety after drug-eluting stent implantation. The OCT findings of in-stent neoatherosclerosis, such as lipid-rich neointima, microvascular proliferation, and neointimal plaque rupture, are associated with very late stent failure, including thrombosis and restenosis. With its excellent ability to assess coronary atherosclerosis and to guide PCI, OCT provides new insights into interventional cardiology.