Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 Jun 21;57(25):2516-26. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.02.036.

Two-dimensional intravascular near-infrared fluorescence molecular imaging of inflammation in atherosclerosis and stent-induced vascular injury.

Author information

Cardiovascular Research Center and Cardiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



This study sought to develop a 2-dimensional (2D) intravascular near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging strategy for investigation of arterial inflammation in coronary-sized vessels.


Molecular imaging of arterial inflammation could provide new insights into the pathogenesis of acute myocardial infarction stemming from coronary atheromata and implanted stents. Presently, few high-resolution approaches can image inflammation in coronary-sized arteries in vivo.


A new 2.9-F rotational, automated pullback 2D imaging catheter was engineered and optimized for 360° viewing intravascular NIRF imaging. In conjunction with the cysteine protease-activatable imaging reporter Prosense VM110 (VisEn Medical, Woburn, Massachusetts), intra-arterial 2D NIRF imaging was performed in rabbit aortas with atherosclerosis (n =10) or implanted coronary bare-metal stents (n = 10, 3.5-mm diameter, day 7 post-implantation). Intravascular ultrasound provided coregistered anatomical images of arteries. After sacrifice, specimens underwent ex vivo NIRF imaging, fluorescence microscopy, and histological and immunohistochemical analyses.


Imaging of coronary artery-scaled phantoms demonstrated 8-sector angular resolution and submillimeter axial resolution, nanomolar sensitivity to NIR fluorochromes, and modest NIRF light attenuation through blood. High-resolution NIRF images of vessel wall inflammation with signal-to-noise ratios >10 were obtained in real-time through blood, without flushing or occlusion. In atherosclerosis, 2D NIRF, intravascular ultrasound-NIRF fusion, microscopy, and immunoblotting studies provided insight into the spatial distribution of plaque protease activity. In stent-implanted vessels, real-time imaging illuminated an edge-based pattern of stent-induced arterial inflammation.


A new 2D intravascular NIRF imaging strategy provides high-resolution in vivo spatial mapping of arterial inflammation in coronary-sized arteries and reveals increased inflammation-regulated cysteine protease activity in atheromata and stent-induced arterial injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center