The presence of lipids in atherosclerotic coronary lesions is an important determinant of their potential to trigger acute coronary events. Spectroscopic intravascular photoacoustic imaging (sIVPA) has the potential to automatically detect lipids in atherosclerotic lesions. For realtime in vivo imaging, limiting the number of excitation wavelengths is crucial. We explored methods for plaque lipid detection using sIVPA, with the aim to minimize the number of laser pulses per image line. A combined intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and photoacoustic imaging system was used to image a vessel phantom and human coronary arteries ex vivo. We acquired co-registered cross-sectional images at several wavelengths near 1200 nm, a lipid-specific absorption band. Correlating the photoacoustic spectra at 6 or 3 wavelengths from 1185 to 1235 nm with the absorption spectrum of cholesterol and peri-adventitial tissue, we could detect and differentiate the lipids in the atherosclerotic plaque and peri-adventitial lipids, respectively. With two wavelengths, both plaque and peri-adventitial lipids were detected but could not be distinguished.,
Optics Express
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Jansen, K, Wu, M, van der Steen, A.F.W, & van Soest, G. (2013). Lipid detection in atherosclerotic human coronaries by spectroscopic intravascular photoacoustic imaging. Optics Express, 21(18), 21472–21484. doi:10.1364/OE.21.021472