2017 Volume 24 Issue 4 Pages 360-372
Due to the pandemics of obesity and diabetes mellitus, especially in the Western countries, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) has become a major health burden and is expected to increase in the future. Modifying lipid targets, especially low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level, has become the first-line therapy for primary and secondary prevention of ASCVD. Intravascular imaging modalities have contributed to elucidating clinical efficacy of lipid lowering therapy on atherosclerotic plaques. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution imaging tool enables visualization of plaque microstructures associated with its instability. This modality has demonstrated favorable changes in plaque microstructures under lowering LDL-C level. In addition, clinical studies using OCT have suggested potential association of other lipid targets, including triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol with plaque microstructures. Given continuing cardiovascular risks despite statin therapy, OCT will be an important imaging modality to evaluate novel therapeutic approaches that potentially modulates plaque instability.