Aims: New markers to help stratify coronary atherosclerosis are needed. Although attempts have been made to differentiate active lesions from those that are stable, none of these has ever been formalised into a discriminatory score. The aim of this study was to analyse the differences between culprit ACS lesions and culprit stable angina lesions with intravascular ultrasound-derived virtual histology and to construct and validate a plaque score. Methods and results: Prior to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), we performed volumetric, intravascular ultrasound-derived virtual histology (IVUS-VH) analysis in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) culprit lesions (AC - n=70) and stable angina culprit lesions (SC - n=35). A direct statistical comparison of IVUS-VH data and multiple logistic regression analysis was undertaken. Four main factors were found to be associated (p<0.05) with an AC lesion phenotype: necrotic core/dense calcium (NC/DC) ratio; minimum lumen area <4 mm<sup>2</sup> (MLA <4); remodelling index @MLA >1.05 and VH-TCFA presence. Calculation of each logistic regression coefficient and the equation produces an active plaque discrimination score with an AUC of 0.96 on receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis. Validation of the score in 50 independent plaques from the Thoraxcenter in Rotterdam revealed an AUC of 0.71, confirming continued diagnostic ability. Conclusions: We have found four features on IVUS and VH that can predict and discriminate ACS culprit lesion phenotypes from those that are clinically stable. Subsequently, we have constructed and validated the Liverpool Active Plaque Score based upon these features. It is hoped this score may help diagnose active coronary plaques, in the future, to help prevent major adverse cardiac events.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Murray, S.W, Stables, R.H, Garcia-Garcia, H.M, Grayson, A.D, Shaw, M.A, Perry, R.A, … Palmer, N.D. (2014). Construction and validation of a plaque discrimination score from the anatomical and histological differences in coronary atherosclerosis: The Liverpool IVUS-V-HEART (Intra Vascular UltraSound-Virtual-Histology Evaluation of Atherosclerosis Requiring Treatment) study. EuroIntervention, 10(7), 815–823. Retrieved from