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Korean Circ J. 2013 Sep;43(9):607-14. doi: 10.4070/kcj.2013.43.9.607. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Comparison of Coronary Plaque Components between Non-Culprit Lesions in Patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome and Target Lesions in Patients with Stable Angina: Virtual Histology-Intravascular Ultrasound Analysis.

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Heart Center of Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea. ; Korea Cardiovascular Stent Institute of Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea.



The differences in plaque characteristics between non-culprit lesions (NCL) in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients (ACS-NCL) and target lesions (TL) in stable angina (SA) patients (SA-TL) are not well understood. We used a virtual histology-intravascular ultrasound (VH-IVUS) to compare the plaque components between ACS-NCL and SA-TL.


We compared VH-IVUS findings between 290 ACS-NCL and 276 SA-TL. VH-IVUS classified the color-coded tissue into four major components: green (fibrotic); yellow-green (fibro-fatty); white {dense calcium (DC)}; and red {necrotic core (NC)}. Thin-cap fibroatheroma (TCFA) was defined as a NC ≥10% of the plaque area in at least 3 consecutive frames without overlying fibrous tissue in the presence of ≥40% plaque burden.


Although the plaque burden was significantly smaller (52±13% vs. 54±14%, p=0.044), ACS-NCL had a greater %NC area (17.9±11.6% vs. 14.3±8.7%, p<0.001) and %DC area (9.7±9.8% vs. 8.1±8.0%, p=0.032) compared with SA-TL at the minimum lumen site. By volumetric analysis, ACS-NCL had a greater %NC volume (15.8±9.2% vs. 13.9±7.4%, p=0.006) compared with SA-TL. TCFA was observed more frequently in ACS-NCL compared with SA-TL (27.6% vs. 18.1%, p=0.032). Independent predictors of TCFA by multivariate analysis were ACS {odds ratio (OR): 2.204, 95% CI: 1.321-3.434, p=0.021} and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (OR: 1.101; 95% CI 1.058-1.204, p=0.035).


Although the plaque burden was significantly smaller, ACL-NCL had more vulnerable plaque components compared with SA-TL, and ACS and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein were the independent predictors of TCFA.


Acute coronary syndrome; Angina, stable; Atherosclerotic plaque; Ultrasonography, intravascular

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