Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution imaging technology, which can provide detailed observation of the vulnerable coronary atherosclerotic plaques in clinical settings. The current understanding of the major cause of acute coronary syndrome is that it results from plaque rupture of a vulnerable plaque. OCT can provide detailed observation of the vulnerable coronary plaque. The main findings of vulnerable plaque by OCT are considered to be a lipid-rich plaque, a thin-cap fibroatheroma, microchannel structure, spotty calcification, macrophage infiltration, and cholesterol crystal. These features observed by OCT can provide cardiologists to consider pathological mechanisms of coronary atherosclerosis and suitable medical and interventional treatments for vulnerable patients. In this review, we will discuss the characteristics of OCT assessment for coronary atherosclerosis and the clinical impacts of OCT imaging for the treatment of coronary artery disease.
Part of the book: Coronary Artery Disease