Imaging atherosclerotic plaque composition with intracoronary optical coherence tomography
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) allows highly accurate diagnosis of atherosclerotic plaques, including measurement of the thickness of fibrous caps, permitting an assessment of the risk of rupture. While the OCT image presents morphological information in highly resolved detail, it relies on interpretation by trained readers for the identification of tissue type. We developed a method for quantitative classification of atherosclerotic plaque constituents. The optical attenuation coefficient μtdistinguishes different tissue types: necrotic core and macrophage infiltration exhibit strong attenuation, μt≥10 mm-1, while calcific and fibrous tissue have a lower μt≈2-5 mm-1.