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Am Heart J. 2017 Oct;192:98-104. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2017.02.010. Epub 2017 Feb 16.

The Lipid-Rich Plaque Study of vulnerable plaques and vulnerable patients: Study design and rationale.

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MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Section of Interventional Cardiology, Washington, DC. Electronic address:
MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Section of Interventional Cardiology, Washington, DC.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics, Boston, MA.
Infraredx, Burlington, MA.
Brigham and Women's Hospital, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Boston, MA.



It has been hypothesized that the outcome post-PCI could be improved by the detection and subsequent treatment of vulnerable patients and lipid-rich vulnerable coronary plaques (LRP). A near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) catheter capable of detecting LRP is being evaluated in The Lipid-Rich Plaque Study.


The LRP Study is an international, multicenter, prospective cohort study conducted in patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) who underwent cardiac catheterization with possible ad hoc PCI for an index event. Patient level and plaque level events were detected by follow-up in the subsequent 2 years. Enrollment began in February 2014 and was completed in March 2016; a total of 1,562 patients were enrolled. Adjudication of new coronary event occurrence and de novo culprit lesion location during the 2-year follow-up is performed by an independent clinical end-points committee (CEC) blinded to NIRS-IVUS findings. The first analysis of the results will be performed when at least 20 de novo events have occurred for which follow-up angiographic data and baseline NIRS-IVUS measurements are available. It is expected that results of the study will be announced in 2018.


The LRP Study will test the hypotheses that NIRS-IVUS imaging to detect LRP in patients can identify vulnerable patients and vulnerable plaques. Identification of vulnerable patients will assist future studies of novel systemic therapies; identification of localized vulnerable plaques would enhance future studies of possible preventive measures.

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