NIRS and IVUS for characterization of atherosclerosis in patients undergoing coronary angiography

Salvatore Brugaletta, Hector M. Garcia-Garcia, Patrick W. Serruys, Sanneke De Boer, Jurgen Ligthart, Josep Gomez-Lara, Karen Witberg, Roberto Diletti, Joanna Wykrzykowska, Robert Jan Van Geuns, Carl Schultz, Evelyn Regar, Henricus J. Duckers, Nicolas Van Mieghem, Peter De Jaegere, Sean P. Madden, James E. Muller, Antonius F.W. Van Der Steen, Wim J. Van Der Giessen, Eric Boersma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the findings of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) virtual histology (VH), and grayscale IVUS obtained in matched coronary vessel segments of patients undergoing coronary angiography. Background: Intravascular ultrasound VH has been developed to add tissue characterization to the grayscale IVUS assessment of coronary plaques. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a new imaging technique able to identify lipid core-containing coronary plaques (LCP). Methods: We performed NIRS and IVUS-VH pullbacks in a consecutive series of 31 patients with a common region of interest (ROI) between 2 side branches. For each ROI, we analyzed the chemogram blocks by NIRS, plaque area and plaque burden by grayscale IVUS, and tissue types by IVUS-VH. The chemogram block is a summary metric of a 2-mm vertical slice of the chemogram. The value ranges from 0 to 1 according to the presence of lipids and represents the probability of LCP with a color scale from red (low probability) through orange and tan to yellow (high probability). Results: Plaque area (mm 2) increases as percentage VH derived-necrotic core (NC) content (4.6 ± 2.7 vs. 7.4 ± 3.5 vs. 8.6 ± 3.4 vs. 7.9 ± 3.3, grouped in percentage NC quartiles, p < 0.001) and chemogram block probability color bin thresholds increase (4.9 ± 3.8 red, 7.3 ± 3.6 orange, 8.1 ± 3.4 tan, and 8.7 ± 3.4 yellow, p < 0.001). The correlation between the block chemogram detection of lipid core and percentage NC content by VH was weak (r = 0.149). Correction for the presence of calcium does not improve this correlation. Conclusions: Larger plaque area by grayscale IVUS was more often associated with either elevated percentage VH-NC or LCP by NIRS; however, the correlation between the detection of LCP by NIRS and necrotic core by VH is weak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-655
Number of pages9
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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