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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Nov 5;62(19):1748-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.05.071. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

In vivo diagnosis of plaque erosion and calcified nodule in patients with acute coronary syndrome by intravascular optical coherence tomography.

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Department of Cardiology, The 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, The Key Laboratory of Myocardial Ischemia, Chinese Ministry of Education, Harbin, China; Cardiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.



The aim of this study was to characterize the morphological features of plaque erosion and calcified nodule in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) by optical coherence tomography (OCT).


Plaque erosion and calcified nodule have not been systematically investigated in vivo.


A total of 126 patients with ACS who had undergone pre-intervention OCT imaging were included. The culprit lesions were classified as plaque rupture (PR), erosion (OCT-erosion), calcified nodule (OCT-CN), or with a new set of diagnostic criteria for OCT.


The incidences of PR, OCT-erosion, and OCT-CN were 43.7%, 31.0%, and 7.9%, respectively. Patients with OCT-erosion were the youngest, compared with those with PR and OCT-CN (53.8 ± 13.1 years vs. 60.6 ± 11.5 years, 65.1 ± 5.0 years, p = 0.005). Compared with patients with PR, presentation with non-ST-segment elevation ACS was more common in patients with OCT-erosion (61.5% vs. 29.1%, p = 0.008) and OCT-CN (100% vs. 29.1%, p < 0.001). The OCT-erosion had a lower frequency of lipid plaque (43.6% vs. 100%, p < 0.001), thicker fibrous cap (169.3 ± 99.1 μm vs. 60.4 ± 16.6 μm, p < 0.001), and smaller lipid arc (202.8 ± 73.6° vs. 275.8 ± 60.4°, p < 0.001) than PR. The diameter stenosis was least severe in OCT-erosion, followed by OCT-CN and PR (55.4 ± 14.7% vs. 66.1 ± 13.5% vs. 68.8 ± 12.9%, p < 0.001).


Optical coherence tomography is a promising modality for identifying OCT-erosion and OCT-CN in vivo. The OCT-erosion is a frequent finding in patients with ACS, especially in those with non-ST-segment elevation ACS and younger patients. The OCT-CN is the least common etiology for ACS and is more common in older patients. (The Massachusetts General Hospital Optical Coherence Tomography Registry; NCT01110538).


ACS; ECG; MI; NSTE-ACS; NSTEMI; OCT; SCD; ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; STEMI; acute coronary syndrome; acute coronary syndrome(s); calcified nodule; electrocardiogram; myocardial infarction; non–ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome; non–ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; optical coherence tomography; plaque erosion; plaque rupture; sudden cardiac death

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