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J Healthc Eng. 2017;2017:9837280. doi: 10.1155/2017/9837280. Epub 2017 Feb 8.

Analysis of Cardiovascular Tissue Components for the Diagnosis of Coronary Vulnerable Plaque from Intravascular Ultrasound Images.

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Department of Medical Devices Industry, Dongguk University-Seoul, 26 Pil-dong 3-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul 04620, Republic of Korea.
Department of Medical Biotechnology, Dongguk University-Bio Medi Campus, 32 Dongguk-ro, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 10326, Republic of Korea.
Department of Cardiology, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 877 Bangeojinsunhwando-ro, Dong-gu, Ulsan 44033, Republic of Korea.


The purpose of this study was to characterize cardiovascular tissue components and analyze the different tissue properties for predicting coronary vulnerable plaque from intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) images. For this purpose, sequential IVUS image frames were obtained from human coronary arteries using 20 MHz catheters. The plaque regions between the intima and media-adventitial borders were manually segmented in all IVUS images. Tissue components of the plaque regions were classified into having fibrous tissue (FT), fibrofatty tissue (FFT), necrotic core (NC), or dense calcium (DC). The media area and lumen diameter were also estimated simultaneously. In addition, the external elastic membrane (EEM) was computed to predict the vulnerable plaque after the tissue characterization. The reliability of manual segmentation was validated in terms of inter- and intraobserver agreements. The quantitative results found that the FT and the media as well as the NC would be good indicators for predicting vulnerable plaques in IVUS images. In addition, the lumen was not suitable for early diagnosis of vulnerable plaque because of the low significance compared to the other vessel parameters. To predict vulnerable plaque rupture, future study should have additional experiments using various tissue components, such as the EEM, FT, NC, and media.

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