Plaque Burden Influences Accurate Classification of Fibrous Cap Atheroma by In-Vivo Optical Coherence Tomography in a Porcine Model of Advanced Coronary Atherosclerosis

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AIMS: In-vivo validation of coronary optical coherence tomography (OCT) against histology and the effects of plaque burden (PB) on plaque classification remain unreported. We investigated this in a porcine model with human-like coronary atherosclerosis.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Five female Yucatan D374Y-PCSK9 transgenic hypercholesterolemic mini-pigs were implanted with a coronary shear-modifying stent to induce advanced atherosclerosis. OCT frames (n=201) were obtained 34 weeks after implantation. Coronary arteries were perfusion-fixed, serially sectioned and co-registered with OCT using a validated algorithm. Lesions were adjudicated using the Virmani classification and PB assessed from histology. OCT had a high sensitivity, but modest specificity (92.9% and 74.6%), for identifying fibrous cap atheroma (FCA). The reduced specificity for OCT was due to misclassification of plaques with histologically defined pathological intimal thickening (PIT) as FCA (46.1% of the frames with histological PIT were misclassified). PIT lesions misclassified as FCA by OCT had a statistically higher PB than in other OCT frames (median 32.0% versus 13.4%; p<0.0001). Misclassification of PIT lesions by OCT occurred when PB exceeded approximately 20%.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with histology, in-vivo OCT classification of FCA had high sensitivity but reduced specificity due to misclassification of PITs with high PB.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuroIntervention : journal of EuroPCR in collaboration with the Working Group on Interventional Cardiology of the European Society of Cardiology
StateE-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2018

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