In-vivo comparison of coronary plaque characteristics using optical coherence tomography in women vs. men with acute coronary syndrome

Stanley Chia, O Christopher Raffel, Masamichi Takano, Guillermo J Tearney, Brett E Bouma, Ik-Kyung Jang
Coronary Artery Disease 2007, 18 (6): 423-7

OBJECTIVE: Women with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) have worse outcomes than men. Data on sex differences of culprit plaque characteristics are lacking. Intravascular optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution imaging technique capable of in-vivo plaque characterization. The aim of this study was to compare culprit plaque characteristics in women and men presenting with ACS.

METHODS: Patients undergoing coronary angiography after ACS were enrolled. We performed OCT imaging on the culprit lesions. Previously validated criteria for OCT plaque characterization were used: lipid was quantified on cross-sectional image and lipid-rich plaque was defined as > or = 2 involved quadrants; fibrous cap thickness was measured at the thinnest point and thin-cap fibroatheroma was defined as lipid-rich plaque with fibrous cap thickness less than 65 microm.

RESULTS: Forty-two patients (33 men and nine women) were included. No significant sex differences were found in baseline characteristics. Lipid-rich plaques were identified in majority of patients. No significant difference, however, was seen in the frequency of lipid-rich plaques, thin-cap fibroatheroma or minimum fibrous cap thickness (79 vs. 89%; 45 vs. 67%; 53.8 vs. 45.4 microm, respectively; P=NS) between men and women. Incidence of calcification, thrombus and plaque disruption were also similar.

CONCLUSIONS: No significant sex difference was seen in culprit plaque characteristics determined by OCT imaging in patients who presented with ACS.

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